Transcript of a Report from the Lewisham Borough News March 17, 1916
'CHURCH, CONSCIENCE AND THE WAR.
"You have only quoted texts of Scripture", Mr Mead remarked when Mr. W.J. Cooper, 43 Algernon-road Lewisham, merchant's clerk, pleaded a conscientious objection. He said that he had been brought up in the Church of England, but that he had not attended any place of worship since the war began, as he could not reconcile his conscience with the attitude of the Church towards the war.
Mr Harry drew applicant's attention to one of the Thirty-nine Articles, saying that it was lawful for a Christian to bear arms.
Applicant : The Master does not say so. "My parents," added applicant, "will tell you I have always had regard for human life. (Voice in the gallery : Especially your own.) He objected to taking any life.
The Chairman : are you a vegetarian?
Applicant : No, I cannot be because I have been brought up to eat meat.
The Chairman : As your feeling is against taking the life of animals as well as man we cannot conceive there is a conscientious objection and we refuse all exemption.
Applicant : How am I placed?
The Chairman : You will have to go.
Applicant To do what?
The Chairman : To fight
Applicant : I shall appeal."
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