Census return for 56 Elthorne Avenue Hanwell
|West Ealing address of the Household brothers in 1916|
James Howard Household
James's case came up before the County Appeals Tribunal, not at his own instigation but, as occasionally happened, at that of the Military Representative (MR) on the Local Tribunal (LT) who chafed at his continuing temporary exemption, arguing: "That in view of the fact that this man is 29 years old, single, and classed C.1. he should not be allowed to remain in Civil employ". The Appeal was, however, "dismissed (by request of MR in order that it may come before the Local Tribunal with other employees)" - 12 April 1917, p.3 in file.
Description: Case Number: M3447.
Occupation: Works Manager.
Grounds of Appeal:
D: On the ground that serious hardship would ensue if the man were called up for Army service, owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position.
F: On the ground of a conscientious objection to the undertaking of combatant service
The above description is misleading insofar as it cites the grounds of the original claim for exemption rather than those of the Appeal as above. As noted by Pearce," After the initial Tribunal his [conscientious objection] appears not to have been an issue", although it may possibly have stung the MR into lodging the Appeal. His unconsidered claim for absolute exemption was founded on "moral motivation that human life is sacred, and I cannot therefore take life, neither can I undertake non-combatant service, as this would be the means of releasing someone else to do the killing which I object, on conscientious grounds, to do[ing] myself." - 25-2-16
Meanwhile, James's younger brother William was not faring so well.
William Scott Household
**Because of the somewhat rough-and-ready data transfer of these admittedly complicated records to the IWM's 'Lives of the First World War', the abbreviation MP in 'Sources' is followed by '(Military Prison)', however obviously incorrectly, as for Member of Parliament here.
William's appeal to the Middlesex Tribunal asserted "Conscientious objection to war service in any form whatever", based on "a deep conviction that war is in direct opposition to the teaching and life of Christ..." and that he "should be disobeying the will of God by enlisting or helping in it, " being "fully prepared to undergo any penalty rather than violate my conscience". He had no claim in gorunds of occupation, having been sacked for refusing to "attest" (i.e. to testify to his willingness to join the forces if called up), "the firm refusing to consider conscientious reasons".
In spite of this, the LT was not prepared to allow that his objection was genuine, citing a history of attendance at different local churches and William's not being a member or communicant of any denomination, choosing to allege that such an independent position must be suspect: "As it appeared to the Tribunal that Appellant's position was as consistent with a growing desire not to fight as with the development of a conscientious objection, his application was rejected." The Appeal was likewise curtly dismissed (21-3-16), and William's letter requesting leave to take his case to the Central Tribunal was marked "too late"; such requests were almost invariably refused anyway.
The letters referred to below are included in the extensive correspondence of T.E.Harvey MP (Friends' House Library reference Temporary MSS 835 Box 3). Notes and extracts:-
Letter from Edwin Gilbert, National Council of Adult School Unions, Bournville.
WSH left Ealing Baptist Church on account of the military atmosphere, and was recommended to the Ealing [Freinds', Quakers'] Prayer Meeting. He is a strong committed pacifist, and would not fight under any circumstances. He will however do civil work such as agriculture.
Dismissed by Michelin Tyre Co. SW London for refusing to attest - after 9 years.
Returning to W13 address on 19-4.
Note re. Parliamentary Recruiting Committee 14-4-16, possibly by T E Harvey: "Nothing can be done." Several people have written [about this case].
WSH arrested 27-5. Now in Hounslow Barracks Guard Room as far as is known.
Asking help not just for him but for all COs suffering for their beliefs.
Not a coward as he has been called; believes human life sacred.
Sending copy of unfinished letter from William:
31-5-16 WSH. Guard Room, Balmer Farm Camp, Falmer.
Have just been sentenced to 28 days in Lewes Military Prison with hard labour. Inform Mr. Smith to ask for transfer to civil prison. Medical examination - by force - for "labour at home" only.
Corporal has just been in to bully me. They are trying to get me to work today "in civilians" - others in uniform. Have not taken money or carried out any military order nor signed any army paper. Alone since five friends, COs, have gone on. Being bullied, threatened, called everything; language and what they say they want to do with me awful.
Still determined to hold out. Other COs are in khaki. Not yet been struck or damaged.
The couple married that year, in Lewes - in fact it must have been shortly afterwards, since the record belongs to the second quarter of the year, perhaps while William was still in military custody. Later, as the database shows, he did get his transfer to civil prison, and eventually went on to join the Home Office Scheme for alternative employment, in the comparatively mild and appropriate form of a placement at Chelsea Work Centre dealing with Health Insurance.
Pole Marian E H — — 1916 England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005 Lewes, Sussex, England
Household William S — — 1916 England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005 Lewes, Sussex, England