“There are many ways of being brave . Standing up for your beliefs often takes courage”

The white Feather Diaries.

DERBYSHIRE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS

ALFRETON

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

ALVASTON

Ernest Baxter

ASHBOURNE

S Handley    Wilfred Milner

BAKEWELL

Charles Knowles    J W French    Thomas Smith    James Wooliscroft    George Lawless

BELBER

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

BLACKWELL

V . Walker    Henry Smith

BUXTON

Fred Berrisford    Arthur Vickery   James Vickery  Skinner

CHAPEL EN LE FRITH

George Robinson

CHESTERFIELD

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

CLOWNE

Thomas Hewitt   Edwin Smith

DRONFIELD

Harold Edees

FROGGATT

Frank Grant

GLOSSOP

Samual Currie    Harold  Gartside    William  Jacques    Fred Warhurst

HAYFIELD

Ernest Bowden

HEAGE

Zedekiah Payne

HEANOR

William Mart   Arthur Bowles   Herbert Green   Ernest Brewin   Hardwick Flintoff    C.Howitt  

 Chris Thorpe   Henderson   George Birks   George Edward Birks   William Barker

ILKESTON

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

LONG EATON

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

MATLOCK

Henry Wheeldon    Ince Wheeldon    William Lowe    J.H. Wootton    G.A.Anderson

Arthur Marsden    Hugh Attlee    Arthur Marsden   Allwood   W.T. Allwood

REPTON

George Boswell

RIPLEY

Alfred Curzon    William  Mander    Harry Vasey

SHARDLOW

George Grooms   Thomas Stevenson   Rev R W Price   C.S. Follett   Hickling    Andrew Smith

Henry Plackett    Joseph Plackett    Francis Allen    Eli Grooms    John Earp

SWADLINGTON

John Matthews    William Locker

WIRKSWORTH

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

Background

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.

August 1916

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

http://www.crichparish-ww1.co.uk/ww1webpages/smithhenry.html

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.

 

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