Others who resisted conscription

This page shows a small sample taken from the local press of men who appeared before the Military Service Tribunals seeking exemption from military service on the grounds of conscience. Where one of these press reports has been used in the wiki's history pages a highlighted link is shown.

DEPTFORD TRIBUNAL:
COUDRAY J.G. Tanners Hill, Deptford - belonged to the Lord's People - application disallowed. The Kentish Mercury 24 March, 1916

CLEOBURY, W.T. 42 Vesta Road, Brockley - follower of Jesus Christ - Non-combatant Certificate. The Kentish Mercury 24 March, 1916. Report of arrest and appearance before the Police Court in Greenwich, The Kentish Mercury 29 September, 1916 p.8, where he explained he had not reported for duty because although he had been offered a NCC he had refused it on the principle that "the man who makes the shot is as bad as the man who fires it." An online search shows William Thomas Cleobury born in 1889 in Greenwich Registration District. It also shows court martial records for the Hounslow Depot Royal Fusiliers WO 86/72.

COLLINS, S.M. Amersham Road, New Cross - a conjurer and entertainer booked with the Y.M.C.A - application disallowed. The Kentish Mercury 24 March, 1916. An online search shows a Stanley Marti Collins, born in St Olaves Bermondsey in 1881 and died June 1966 in Hastings. He was conscripted into the Royal Garrison Artillery on 24 Jan 1917, his army service record number is 143941.

REEVES, E.J. Brocklehurst Street New Cross - belonged to Bible Study Fellowship - Non-combatant Certificate. The Kentish Mercury 24 March, 1916

SAYERS, A.M. Hilly Fields Crescent, Brockley - moral and ethical grounds - claim disallowed. The Kentish Mercury 24 March, 1916. An online search shows Alfred Mannington Sayers born in Brockley. He was conscripted into the Royal West Kent Regiment (RWK) and was arrested 31 May 1916 by Police as absent without leave. He appeared before magistrates where he was fined 40 shillings and taken away under escort. His RWK record shows that he 'joined' on 12 June 1916, but was at 'home' from 27 May 1916 – 21 August 1916. It also shows that as well as being AWOL he refused orders. These dates probably indicate that as well as not responding to his call up papers he refused to sign his army papers for some time. Many conscientious objectors took some time to give in under pressure. He served in India.

LEWISHAM TRIBUNAL:
ALLSOPP, Mark 36 Caterham Road, Lewisham - conscience, business and financial hardship, did not belong to any religious community or non-sectarian body - Refused. Lewisham Borough News March 10, 1916

ATKINS, Bertram Park Road, Forest Hill, umbrella maker. He was a member of the Plymouth Brethern willing to do anything of a non-combatant nature. He was told by Mr Mead the Tribunal Chairman, incorrectly, that the Plymouth Brethren were established by Anglo-Indian officers who were not persons who objected to fighting - Non-Combatant Certificate. Lewisham Borough News March 10, 1916

ARMSTRONG, R.E. 25 Wynell Rd, Forest Hill bank clerk, the Tribunal told him that at work he filled up applications for war loans, he said he did so as a civil servant and not under military law and that he "only owns allegiance to heavenly king" He refused a Non-Combatant Certificate application was therefore refused. Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916 IBSA (Jehovah's Witness).

BLICK, R.C. Blessington Rd, Lee LCC school teacher, belonged to no denomination said he would object to a Non-Combatant Certificate and his application was was refused. Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916

BIELNBERG, H. Berlin Road Catford, his father was born in Schleswig Holsteing and he had cousins in German army. He said "human life is sacred to me … war is legalised murder and does not absolve any individuals conscience from the consequence of his own acts". "I would be aiding and abetting in … and taking lives of my relatives" MST said it was generously giving him a Non-Combatant Certificate he replied that he would appeal. Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916

BLANKS, J.G. 53 Arngask Road, Hither Green, a 30 year old master printer, said he was medically unfit for military service and also was a member of the IBSA (Jehovah's Witness), he could not accept a Non-combatant certificate, only Work of National Importance as he had taken a vow signed in 1905 that he would serve "the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart" - given Non-combatant certificate, he said he expected to end up in Pentonville. Lewisham Borough News reports 25 May and 8 June , 1917.

CARRICK, H.J. 33 Thurston Road Lewisham Socialist Sunday School Teacher - refused Lewisham Borough News 17 March, 1916

COOPER, W.J. 43 Algernon Road, Lewisham Lewisham Borough News 17 March, 1916

CURL, Burnbull William Service. He was a clerk and a member of the Plymouth Brethren. He told the tribunal he was a “Derbyite“, and granted a Non-Combatant Certificate. Lewisham Borough News 10 March, 1916

GARLAND, J. Mount Villas, Sydenham Socialist and believer in brotherhood of man, GPO sorter - Non-combatant certificate said he would appeal. The Kentish Mercury March 24, 1914 and also The Lewisham Borough News 26 March, 1916

HARRINGTON H. 5 Abernethy Road, Lee a Christadelphian

HICKEY, W.J. 58 Devonport Road, Catford - Christian evangalist and prospective missionary, holder of a munitions-workers badge employed as a motor bus engine fitter. Tribunal questioned his conscience given his work and adjourned hearing to see if he was in a reserved occupation. The Kentish Mercury 24 March, 1916

LADLER, I.D. 30 Sunninghill Road - Baptist - refused. Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916

MARRABLE, L.R. Manwood Rd. Brockley, faith identical with the Christadelphians of which body he hoped soon to be a member. He would not be part and parcel of any military system. When MST pointed out he was the chief clerk working for a firm making aeroplanes, he replied "not in my section", he refused a Non-Combatant Certificate. Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916

RIDER, from Lee a Butcher Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916

ROE, Church Socialist League, offered Non-Combatant Certificate, refused it in turn the Tribunal refused his application. Lewisham Borough News, March 17, 1916

SPEER, Secretary, Lower Sydenham Young Peoples Mission, Asst. Superintendent of Sunday School Mayow Road Hall, personal and conscientious grounds - Non-combatant Certificate Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916.

WALLIS, C.S. Nelgarde Road, Catford - Esperantist for three years - refused. Lewisham Borough News March 10, 1916

WHITE, W. Stanstead Road, Catford. Humanist, no religion, though he believed in God - refused. Lewisham Borough News March 10, 1916

Source:
Lewisham Borough News 1916, 1917
Kentish Mercury 1916, 1917


Ann O'Brien, Volunteer at Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre,

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