#whitefeather diaries

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National service or national slavery?

3 February, 2016 - 11:15 -- ElizabethP

Peace activists made a last-ditch attempt to resist the introduction of conscription as it was being debated by Parliament. A strongly worded leaflet produced by the No-Conscription Fellowship was attacked in the press at the beginning of 1916. Here it is.

SHALL BRITONS BE CONSCRIPTS?

Fellow Citizens,—

The time has come to appeal to all those who value our traditional British freedom.

A pacifist soldier

19 October, 2015 - 12:07 -- ElizabethP

Hilda Clark was not the only one to feel “stifled by lies and hatred”. Revulsion to the war was experienced by people in many different situations on all sides, amongst both civilians and soldiers. Some soldiers came to reject the war even while they were fighting in it.

Ronald Skirth was a teenager when he joined the army in 1916. He believed in the righteousness of the war and strongly espoused values of patriotism and obedience. Going to war, he took with him a photograph of his girlfriend Ella.

Peace: The Great Adventure

19 October, 2015 - 11:59 -- ElizabethP

Those attempting to persuade young men to enlist in the army often spoke of adventure, sacrifice and comradeship.

As John's entry today makes clear, there was also much comradeship in the peace movement. Maude Royden, an Anglican who worked closely with Quakers, was keen to associate peace with the spirit of adventure traditionally associated with war. Her book, The Great Adventure, was published in early 1915. Here's an abridged extract.

Pacifists and Jesus

19 October, 2015 - 11:52 -- ElizabethP

The Bible, and particularly the teachings of Jesus, were a constant source of encouragement to Quakers and other religious pacifists. Today we saw Bert quoting Jesus's words of encouragement to his followers, as they appear in Matthew's Gospel.

This is the passage from which Bert quoted (Matthew 10:16–31) in a modern English translation (the New Revised Standard Version). It consists of advice and encouragement given by Jesus to his followers as they prepared for persecution and hostility.

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