Fuller, Horace Valentine

March 24,1892 to June 1, 1952
He was born in Peckham and died in Greenford Middlesex.

70 Elsinore Road, Forest Hill

Horace Valentine Fuller worked as a clerk and was single at the time of his tribunal hearing. He was a Congregationalist, a member of the Dulwich Branch of the No-Conscription Fellowship and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Conscientious Objection during the First World War
His appearance before the Military Service Tribunal was reported in the Lewisham Borough News on March 17, 1916. He said he had attended Torridon Road Congregational Church, until the sermons preached there had become too militant, and he now attended Trinity Congregational Church. He was refused a certificate of exemption and said he would appeal.

He was conscripted into the 10th London Regiment and was court martialled for the first time on June 13, 1916, when he was sentenced to nine-months hard labour. On August 4 he was accepted as a genuine conscientious objector by the Central Tribunal at Wormwood Scrubs. He was not, however, given an unconditional exemption, but was sent instead to road mending at Risbridge House, Clare, Kedington, West Suffolk under the Home Office Scheme. He spent nine months working under the Home Office Scheme, but eventually he rejected and was in turn rejected by the scheme. He was returned to his regiment where he again disobeyed orders and faced two further courts martial and further imprisonment.

Prison experiences.
He was by now an absolutist believing that any alternative service supported the war effort and conscription as well. He was supported in his stand by membership of the No Conscription Fellowship and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

While in Wandsworth prison he was involved in organising a protest against capital punishment, the part he played was told by Edward Harby in a letter to Clare Cole, (January 18, 1918):

"Have you heard of the protest against Capital Punishment which Comrade Dormer of Woolwich and myself have been trying to organise at Wandsworth? Comrade Fuller of Forest Hill has taken part of the organising over and if the original proposals were acted upon all COs would have applied last Thursday for permission to petition the Home Secretary for the reprieve of the unfortunate man now in Wandsworth Prison waiting to hanged.

"Should the reprieve be refused, then I want to see a work strike on the day of the hanging, which would be in about three weeks' time."

Horace was received into membership of the Kingston Quaker Monthly meeting on June 19, 1918. He was released in April 1919 under what became known as the “Two Year Rule”, whereby all prisoners convicted of army offences were released if they had served two years or more. When Horace was released, as with all others in this situation, he was dishonourably discharged from the army and was told that he faced another two years in prison if he tried to sign up again!

He was supported in his stand by membership of the No Conscription Fellowship, Dulwich Branch and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

After the First World War
He married Henrietta Charlotte Light Abbott on September 11, 1926, She was the sister of another conscientious objector and Quaker George Stevens Abbott (1888-1969).

Cyril Pearce, University of Leeds, Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors
Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916
Dulwich N-C.F What are Conscientious Objectors? July 1917 in the Cumbria Archive Centre ref:D/Mar/4/97
Clare Cole, The Objectors to Conscription and War, published Manchester: Workers' Northern Publishing Society, 1936

Ann O'Brien, Volunteer at Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre, May 2014

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