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calendar   Wednesday - January 22, 2014

the net has so much to teach and inform. and yet … there are so many trolls.

Of some possible historical interest.

Look at these poor long gone tommies. Can’t even imagine what that must have been like.  And Passchendaele was, like everywhere else in that war, a bloodbath. On both sides.
I don’t guess any war is a joy to behold.  What I mean is, it ain’t like the movies.
But there’s something especially sad about this one. 

I knew but had not read much, about the men, on all sides, who refused to go on moral grounds.  I was aware of a famous American actor who refused to kill anyone but volunteered as an ambulance driver. I knew women were handing out white feathers (it was feathers wasn’t it?) to young men at home who were not in uniform. 
But that was pretty much it. 


World War One documents reveal stories of those who pleaded not to fight

Newly published documents from First World War reveal the stories of thousands of men who pleaded for an exemption from fighting.

By Jasper Copping

Newly published documents from the First World War reveal a previously overlooked side of the conflict - the stories of thousands of men who pleaded not to go and fight.

image
British stretcher bearers in Passchendaele in 1917

The records, which have been placed online by the National Archives, are from hearings held during the war to rule on whether those who had applied for exemptions from military service should be allowed not to serve.

They show a variety of reasons cited for resisting conscription, including medical, family and economic grounds.
Only 577 of the 11,307 cases in the files (around five per cent) related to conscientious objectors - those who refused to fight on moral grounds.
The majority of appeals were dismissed and many people did go on to fight. However, in some cases exemptions were granted.

The files provide an insight into the impact of the First World War on families, businesses and communities far from the battlefields, and also lay bare the social tensions caused by the conflict, and the resistance of some men to serve.

The hearings were considered so sensitive that after the war, most files were destroyed.

In one case disclosed in the archives, the tribunal deciding on the case of Charles Rubens Busby, a butcher, was sent an letter signed only “a father and householder S H M” questioning why he had allowed to keep his shop open and remain at home while “married men have had to shut up their shop and go”.

The letter writer, a 68-year-old, said he had lost two sons in the fighting while Busby, 40, had made “heaps of money” and had deliberately joined a voluntary organisation to avoid being called up.

The butcher, who was described as “a proper rotter of a man” and a “rotten shirker”, was accused of “bragging” about how he would not be called to fight, even taking bets on the matter.

Busby, a father of three daughters, apparently lost his case and went to serve in the Royal Navy, for which he seems to have served ashore, and the Royal Air Force. He survived the war and was discharged in 1919. He died in 1955.

LOTS MORE TO READ HERE

These make for very interesting reading. For me, because I had never seen or read this sort of stuff that relates to that war. Check these links at the at the main story.

Related Articles:

The stories of those who didn’t want to go to war 22 Jan 2014

World War One diaries go online 14 Jan 2014

Harry Ward

Describing himself as a foreign correspondent and bookkeeping clerk, he resisted serving on conscientious grounds on the basis of his socialist beliefs.

He lost his initial hearing after the chairman said that as a socialist he could not possibly have a conscience.

The manner of this dismissal was raised in parliament by an MP and Ward, 20, from Ponders End, appealed. He lost this hearing too, but later appealed to the central tribunal.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/22/2014 at 04:03 PM   
Filed Under: • War-Stories •  
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