Short, Edward James

Aged 30 in 1916

175, Stanstead Road, Catford

Edward Short worked as a builder, decorator and general house repairer. He was single.

Conscientious Objection during the First World War
His appearance before the Military Service Tribunal was reported on March 10, 1916 in both the Kentish Mercury, under a heading Chairman's Sharp Rebuke and in the Lewisham Borough News under a sub-headline Some Queer Excuses to Escape Service.

Edward invoked the ire of the tribunal by asking them questions and stating his opinions. He first appealed on business grounds and was not successful, but he also appealed on grounds of conscience. He told the tribunal that, as a Christian, he believed that warfare was unjust and that they exercised the law of justice as an "eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", when they should instead be returning "good for evil". Edward then asked the tribunal to explain what was meant by both combatant and non-combatant service and was told he was there to state what his objection was, and not to ask the Tribunal to define words.

In summing up the Chairman made a statement saying how sincere and considerate the tribunal was in considering the feelings of all applicants whom they treated with the utmost respect. They felt that in return they were due straightforward and candid replies to their questions and they did not think that Mr. Short had behaved in that way, and they therefore did not consider he was entitled to exemption.

War Service
Edward served in the Non-Combatent Corps 7 Eastern Company at home from 17 August 1916 until he was demobbed on 9 June 1919.

After the First World War

Cyril Pearce, University of Leeds, Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors
Lewisham Borough News 10 March, 1916
Kentish Mercury 10 March, 1916

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

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