R.D Cole lived at 21 Felday Road, Catford and worked as a carpet planner and fixer.
Conscientious Objection during the First World War:
The Lewisham Borough News, August 11, 1916 reported his appearance before the Lewisham Military Service Tribunal where he said he was a Christian who belonged to a religious community and who had held a conscientious objection to military service for over twenty years. He said was willing to do farm work, although he knew nothing about it, but was given a non-combatant certificate.
He appealed the decision and the Kentish Mercury, September 8 1916 reported his appearance before the Appeals Tribunal where he said he was prepared to do work of national importance, unconnected with the war. It was also reported that he “was represented by the religious body to which he belonged The Community and Fellowship of the Sons of God who stated that anyone among them who took up military work was regarded as undesirable”
He was referred to the Pelham Committee and there is a record of his undertaking farm work from September 12, 1916 until May 8, 1917, but no other detail.
After the First World War:
Cyril Pearce, University of Leeds, Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors
The Lewisham Borough News August 11, 1916
The Kentish Mercury September 8, 1916
Ann O'Brien, Volunteer Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre, July 2015
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