This project created biographies of the First World War experiences of 113 conscientious objectors from Deptford and Lewisham, who are listed on the Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors. The biographies together with short histories giving background information, were uploaded to this wiki supported by the London Borough of Lewisham. The Lewisham Local History and Archive Centre, (LHAC) designed a similar wiki for Lewisham's War Memorials, which generated a considerable number of page views. It is hoped that this project will also reach a wide audience of local and family historians, and that they in turn will provide further information on the Lewisham's first world war conscientious objectors. Contact LHAC
The majority of Lewisham's conscientious objectors made their claim for exemption from military service to two separate Military Service Tribunals, sitting in the old town halls in Catford and Deptford, for at this time Lewisham and Deptford were two separate boroughs. On the instructions of Government, their Military Service Tribunal's records were destroyed after the war and the total number of conscientious objectors in the boroughs is not known. Other records do exist, and perhaps the most valuable for the local and family historian are the press reports of tribunal and magistrate court hearings, as the local newspapers placed conscientious objectors in the context of an all pervading atmosphere of support for the war. The Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors, Lewisham Borough News, Kentish Mercury, and other primary and secondary sources are being used to research this project.
Cyril Pearce, University of Leeds, for the Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors.
Ben Copsey, the Peace Pledge Union's Objecting to War Project Officer, who made Lewisham's Local History and Archives Centre (LHAC) aware of the possibilities of using the Pearce Register to create biographies of its First World War conscientious objectors.
The Pearce Register can be searched on the IWM's Lives of the First World War
Ann O'Brien, Volunteer at Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre, April 2014, revised August 2015.
- List with links to biographies of known COs in Deptford
- List with links to biographies of known COs in Lewisham
- Others who resisted conscription
This wiki is still being developed and subject to change. Please bear with us until it is completed. If you have any suggestions for improvements or inclusions please let us know. Click here to contact us