Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Ealing COs: More brothers in refusal of the First World War

There are numerous examples among first World War Conscientious Objectors of brothers who shared similar views, took the same stand, and suffered accordingly, including a pair from Hanwell (previously considered here). The Household brothers from West Ealing were two more, who incidentally had a Hanwell address in 1911:

Census return for 56 Elthorne Avenue Hanwell
        [with] Relationship     Marital status   Sex         Age        Birth year            Occupation        Birth place  

William Scott      Household          Head     Married                Male      51           1860       Pianoforte Fitter              Camden Town N W
Frances Clara     Household          Wife      Married                Female 52           1859       -              Bermondsey S E
Mapel Emily       Household          Daughter             Single    Female 25           1886       Clerk Motor Works          Acton Middx
James Howard  Household          Son        Single    Male      23           1888       Clerk Photographers      Hanwell Middx
William Scott      Household          Son        Single    Male      21           1890       Clerk Motor Works          Hampstead N W
Francis Scott       Household          Son        Single    Male      18           1893       Solicitors Clerk   Hampstead N W
Elizabeth              Household          Daughter             Single    Female 16           1895       -              Hanwell Middx 
West Ealing address of the Household brothers in 1916
From the Pearce Register (online database):-

James Howard Household
Marital status    Single
Occupation         Works manager
Age        28
Birth year            1888
Year       1916
Soldier Number                -
Address               80, Leighton Road
Address 2            West Ealing
Local authority  Ealing MB
County Middlesex
Country                England
Latitude               51.5
Longitude            -0.32
Ordnance Survey reference        TQ160800
Motivation          -
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Ealing 8.3.16 appeal on hardship (D) and as a CO (F) - exempt to 8.7.16, 17.7.16 further exemption to 20.1.17 ; Middlesex County Appeal 12.4.17 Military Rep.'s appeal dismissed                            
War Service        WNI (Work of National Importance) As manager of a works employing more than 60 people he was exempt for much of the war in a series of temporary exemptions based on the hardship his joining the army would cause. After the initial Tribunal his CO appears not to have been an issue.
WO363 false
Notes    'F' James Howard and William Scott Household, brothers
Other Conscientious Objectors in family                Yes
Sources                NA/MH47/35/77 - on line;
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918 

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. 

Middlesex Appeals Tribunal Ref. MH 47/35/77   
Description:        Case Number: M3447.
James Howard Household of 80 Leighton Road, West Ealing.
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
Marital status Single
Occupation General commercial clerk
Age 26
Birth year 1890
Year 1916
Soldier Number –
Address 80, Leighton Road
Address 2 West Ealing
Local authority Ealing MB
County Middlesex
Country England
Motivation Former Baptist who became a Quaker (Ealing PM) in 1915
Military Service Tribunal
MST (Military Service Tribunal) Ealing 8.3.16 appeal as a CO (F) - ECS (Exemption from Combatant Service) only, NCC (Non-Combatant Corps) but accepted that this would not be acceptable to him; Middlesex County Appeal 21.3.16 - dismissed, confirmed local MST (Military Service Tribunal) decision
War Service: 3 Depot Middlesex Balmer Farm Camp, Falmer, Nr.Brighton, CM (Court Martial) June 1916 - 28 days HL (With hard labour), Lewes MP (Military Prison); CM (Court Martial) (2) 31.7.16 Shoreham - 112 days HL 
War Service comments: Refused to Attest and sacked by his employers Jan.1916
Magistrates Court Arrested 27.5.16 tried at Brentford fined 40/- and handed over, to Hounslow barracks
Magistrates Court comments: Absentee
Prison: Lewes MP (Military Prison) 16.6.16; Crawley Aug.1916; 1.9.16, 8.9.16 Lewes CP (Civil Prison)
Work Centre      HOS (The Home Office Scheme, administered by the Brace Committee) 22.9.16 to 18.5.17 Road Board Camp, Denton, Newhaven; 1.6.17, 3.8.17, 26.10.17,25.1.18, 26.4.18, 26.7.18 Chelsea (Health Insurance) Work Centre
WO363 false
Notes 'F' James Howard and William Scott Household, brothers. *Letter in D/Mar/4/13 complains of the "lack of unity and Fellowship" among CO's at Newhaven.*Sacked by his employers, Michelin Tyres, because he refused to Attest - see Harvey letters. *Address in NA/MH47 also 61, Linden Road, Bournville, Birmingham
Other Conscientious Objectors in family Yes
Sources                Tribunal 15.6.16; 10.8.16; Cumbria RO(Carlisle)D/Mar/4/13, 97; FH/FSC(1916/20)/SER 31 Case file; The Friend 1.9.16, 8.9.16, 22.9.16, 3.11.16, 1.12.16, 5.1.17, 2.2.17,16.3.17, 18.5.17, 1.6.17, 3.8.17, 26.10.17, 25.1.18, 26.4.18, 26.7.18; NA/WO86/71/105; Letters 10.4.16 to 5.6.16 - including a letter from him while in military custody, in T.E.Harvey MP ([Military Prison]**) Correspondence FH/Temp.Mss.835 Box.3; FH/SER/VOPC/Cases/4(624); NA/MH47/8/31 - on line.
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918

**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.

William was now in Bournville, Birmingham, where he found support and a temporary refuge.

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.

W S Houshold Letter 10-4-16 from Bournville.
Dismissed by Michelin Tyre Co. SW London for refusing to attest - after 9 years.
Returning to W13 address on 19-4.

From Richard H. Smith, Friends' Foreign Mission Association.12-4-16
Note re. Parliamentary Recruiting Committee 14-4-16, possibly by T E Harvey: "Nothing can be done." Several people have written [about this case].

From William's FiancĂ©e Marian Pole, 63 Overstone Rd. Hammersmith 29-5-16
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.
"abruptly ends".- Marian's note 
She wrote to Harvey again on 5-6-16 about getting William transferred from military prison.

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

No comments:

Post a comment