“There are many ways of being brave . Standing up for your beliefs often takes courage”
The white Feather Diaries.
DERBYSHIRE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS
William Long James Whysall F C Tomlinson W E Cox George Tagg Joseph Sharp
James Long Frank Clarke Henry Hallam George Howard E Walker Joseph Lamb
S Handley Wilfred Milner
Charles Knowles J W French Thomas Smith James Wooliscroft George Lawless
Fred Martin Arthur Ludlow George Davidson Arthur Watkins David Appleby Allwood Darbyshire John Sanders William Mauder Alfred Tomes Henry Smith Roper John Hunter F W Hatton Arthur Hunter
V . Walker Henry Smith
Fred Berrisford Arthur Vickery James Vickery Skinner
CHAPEL EN LE FRITH
Harry Buckley Ernest Mellor George Carter Henry Haston E.T. Barton Albert Hardy
Ernest Meese Edward Watts Herbert Berry Percy Moon Lawrence Keeton John Rigby
William Seedhouse Howard Howells Lawrence W Howells Albert Stevens
Samuel Baxter Colin Smith John Whittaker
Thomas Hewitt Edwin Smith
Samual Currie Harold Gartside William Jacques Fred Warhurst
William Mart Arthur Bowles Herbert Green Ernest Brewin Hardwick Flintoff C.Howitt
Chris Thorpe Henderson George Birks George Edward Birks William Barker
Arthur Brown James Caurse Harold Trueman Albert Spencer John Teate
Frederick Page Thomas Ball Percy Morley Bernard Hildreth George Stanley
Frank Shelton Ernest Briggs Benjamin Taylor George Wiles
F. Ainsworth Percy Tebutt J.H. Mitchell Claude Hopkinson D.E.Truman Harry Wright
Richard Barry Edward Draycott William Holland Samuel Brassington William Jordan
A.Booth William Angrave William Booth James Shipstone James Chattell
Harry Worth Alfred Holland Albert Bench Wilfred Pegg William Hudson
Charles Stuart Thomas Angrave
Henry Wheeldon Ince Wheeldon William Lowe J.H. Wootton G.A.Anderson
Arthur Marsden Hugh Attlee Arthur Marsden Allwood W.T. Allwood
Alfred Curzon William Mander Harry Vasey
George Grooms Thomas Stevenson Rev R W Price C.S. Follett Hickling Andrew Smith
Henry Plackett Joseph Plackett Francis Allen Eli Grooms John Earp
John Matthews William Locker
John Hodgson John Bowyer
~SOME OF THEIR STORIES~
HENRY SMITH ~ BELPER
He ran the Chevin Cafe in Belper. In 1911 he lived at Rose Cottage and was studying art.In 1916, when he was 24, he was conscripted into the army. He appealed and was sent to a tribunal at Belper Magistrates. Part of what he said:
…. I am a conscientious objector recognised by the tribunal, and as such ought to be totally exempted. …..it is against my conscience and my religion to take part in war, and I shall consequently refuse to obey all military orders.
I believe that Christianity is opposed to warfare….
He was granted exemption, however the military representative was dissatisfied with the decision. One week later Henry Smith was called up and arrested. He was told to put on a uniform. He refused and was sentenced to jail.
He was court martialed at Wormwood Scrubs, and passed as a genuine conscientious objector. He was discharged from jail, escorted to the military camp at Rugely and again court martialled. He was sentenced to two years hard labour, at Wormwood Scrubs, .
On being discharged, he was court martialed again. He was sentenced to a further year of hard labour.He was finally released from prison in March 1919, on grounds of ill-health.
Henry Smith of Belper
A meeting had been arranged for 4th August 1914 to look for ways to strengthen the hand of those who wanted to keep Britain out of the war. In the event, by the time the meeting happened, war had already been declared, so the meeting considered how far Quakers could help with relief work. They were happy to do relief work, so long as it was not under military control. The statement from this meeting concluded:
We earnestly desire to do all we can to relieve suffering wherever it is, but feel restrained from in any way acting in conjunction with the military authorities.
A number of young men from Crich, a nearby village, disturbed by the attitude of local Quakers, damaged the shop of Thomas Davidson, a minister of the meeting, and accosted several members…..(who were)….prepared to carry their beliefs into their daily life and to take the consequences.
The Quakers formed the Friends Ambulance Unit for volunteers to collect the wounded, of either side, on the battlefield, and take them for treatment to field hospitals. This involved huge risks for the stretcher bearers.
In 1916, conscription was brought in, as there were not enough volunteers for the forces.
In August 1916 the Monthly Meeting (The Quaker business meeting) reported the arrest of Henry Smith, and his appearance before Belper Branch of Magistrates with a view to his being handed over to the military authorities. After the military representative, who appeared to prosecute, had stated his case, Henry Smith was invited to reply, when he read the following defence of his position:
I should like to say, first of all, that I do not wish to assume any superiority over other people who think differently,nor do I desire any personal consideration to influence the case. For I am concerned not so much with the defence of my person as with the defence of my principles, and what happens to me is of secondary importance.
I have divided my defence into three heads:-
As to point of fact
I submit that I cannot be an absentee from something I have never joined. To be deemed to be enlisted cannot possibly alter the facts of the case. I might just as logically be deemed to be dead or married.
As to point of law
I submit that I am a conscientious objector recognised by the tribunal, and as such ought to be totally exempted. (I explained to the tribunal that non-combatant service did not meet the case) I submit that it is contrary to the principles of British justice to punish a man who has done no wrong, and who was express;y intended by the Act of Parliament to go free. And if you convict me. You will assuredly bring me into punishment; for it is against my conscience and my religion to take part in war, and I shall consequently refuse to obey all military orders. That is to say, I shall not take part, deliberately, and with malice aforethought, in what I believe to be wrong.
Finally, gentlemen, my last defence is on religious grounds.
I believe that Christianity is opposed to warfare, and as a Christian, very imperfect and very inexperienced it is true, and yet as a Christian, I must try to follow out what I believe to be my Christian duty. It is written that the fruit of the Spirit of Christ is Love, joy peace and other virtues against which there is no law Therefore, with all humility, and supremely conscious of my own shortcomings, I would endeavour to bear witness to that Spirit, fully confident that whatever happens to me, it will prevail in the end.
When he had given this reply, the clerk handed this paper to the magistrates on the Bench. After a few minutes deliberation, the decision was announced by the Chairman.
The Bench are satisfied that Henry Smith is a bona fide conscientious objector, holding the principles if the Society of Friends (Quakers)
He was granted non-combatant exemption. They declined to make any further order, but said;
The Bench is aware there is a Friends Ambulance Corps, and hope the defendant will volunteer for that.
The military representative was dissatisfied with the decision and requested permission to take the matter further, and this was granted.
One week later Henry Smith had another call to the colours, so that he was again liable to arrest, which happened in September. He was fined, and taken under military escort to Derby Barracks, and from there sentenced to jail. A letter of support was sent from his Meeting, but it was censored, and he never saw it.
He was court martialed at Wormwood Scrubs, and passed as a genuine conscientious objector. He was discharged from Jail, and escorted to the military camp at Rugely and again court martialled. He was sentenced to two years hard labour, back at Wormwood Scrubs, from where he was transferred to Wandsworth prison.
On being discharged, he was taken to Avington Park Camp at Winchester, where he was court martialed again. He was sentenced to a further year of hard labour. He was finally released from prison in March 1919, on grounds of ill-health. This was three years since his first appeal, and months after the end of the war.
See further information and photo at
Hunter Brothers – Triplets who chose different paths
“It would have been better if they had died.”
Triplets John, Arthur and Maurice Hunter of Belper signed up to fight. John went over to France with the first Expeditionary Force.
By 1918, overwhelmed by the suffering he had seen during four years of active service in France, where as a captain, part of his job was to write home to bereaved families, John decided to resign his commission.. Arthur, also in France, agreed to do the same.
Their father, a Lieutenant-Colonel had an OBE for his military contribution to the Sherwood Foresters, though he had never seen active service.
The brothers were court-martialed, and sentenced to a year of hard labour.
As well. they were stripped of the right to vote, and shunned by their community.
Their parents never spoke to them again.
After the war the brothers went out to Poland with the Quaker relief service, and kept in touch with Maurice.