Rose, Cecil Raymond

He was born in Walthamstow and was 23 in 1916.

134, Stanstead Road, Forest Hill

Cecil Raymond Rose worked as a Draper. Living at the same address was his brother Sydney William Rose who was also a conscientious objector.

Cecil was a Calvinistic Baptist and a member of the Dulwich Branch of the No-Conscription Fellowship and the Independent Labour Party.

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 was entitled to absolute exemption as he was Calvinistic Baptist, when offered a Non-Combatent Certificate he said he would refused it. The MST in turn then refused the certificate.

Cecil and Sidney's appearance at the police magistrates court was reported in the Kentish Mercury on June 16, 1916. Captain W. J Elvy said that their appeal had been disallowed and that on the 19 May, the very day a letter calling them to permanent military service was sent they "at once went away on their cycles, leaving no address, giving the police a considerable amount of trouble". The Magistrate Mr. Symmons said that he would consider the matter when fixing penalties, but noted that they had been away on a short holiday on their bicycles and said "it occurred to me this was a quite suitable time to take such a holiday and I hope they enjoyed it", he refused them bail and remanded them for seven days so they might consult their lawyer.

Cecil was taken under guard to the 10th London Regiment and was court-martialled at Hurdcott Camp (Salisbury) on 27 June, 1916 for refusing to obey orders. He was sentenced to six months hard labour and his appeal was held at the Central Tribunal at Wormwood Scrubs on 11 August, 1916. He was held to be a genuine conscientious objector and was referred to the Home Office Scheme, like Sydney he then served two months at the Dyce Work Camp in Aberdeen. Both brothers rejected and was in turn rejected by the Home Office scheme for refusing to comply with its demands.

Prison experiences

He was now an absolutist believing that any alternative service supported the war effort and conscription as well. By January 1919 he had served four prison sentences and had spent more than two years in gaol at Winchester, Wormwood Scrubs, Exeter and Wandsworth. His health broke down and he was eventually released on on 5 March, 1919 by order of the Secretary of State.

He was supported in his stand by the No- Conscription Fellowship, Dulwich Branch and by his membership of the Independent Labour Party.

After the War
He returned to his old address at 134 Stanstead Road as did Sidney. Edward Harby also lived there on release from prison. As a conscientious objector who had been court-martialled and imprisoned Cecil would not have been allowed vote for five years from the end of the war,

Cyril Pearce, University of Leeds, Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors
Lewisham Borough News 17 March, 1916
Kentish Mecury June 16, 1916
Dulwich N-C.F What are Conscientious Objectors? July 1917 in the Cumbria Archive Centre ref:D/Mar/4/97

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

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