In Lewisham the largest groups of religious conscientious objectors came from those churches whose teaching did not support the taking up of arms: Christadelphians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Plymouth Brethren, Quakers and Seventh-day Adventists. This site shows who they were, where they met and how they might have formed support networks. There were also members of pro-war churches who did not agree with the views of the majority of their leaders and congregations, and in Lewisham a number of Baptists made up a committed group of conscientious objectors. Some religious conscientious-objectors could also be found in the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) a Christian group committed to opposing conscription founded in December 1914. Once the military service acts were passed it supported its members at tribunals, was concerned about the welfare of imprisoned conscientious objectors and its volunteers visited prisons, working closely with the No-Conscription Fellowship (NCF) who also numbered the religious among its members, particularly those who were Christian socialists.
Churches in the Hundred of Blackheath, compiled by L.A.J Baker and published by the Greenwich and Lewisham Antiquarian Society 1961. For details of the total numbers of churches and their addresses at the outbreak of the war.
The Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors gives the religion of conscientious objectors where known, although the motivation, whether religious or secular, of over one-third of its entries for Lewisham is missing. This gap can often be filled by local press reports of appeals to the Military Service Tribunals.
Photograph: Is of Hamilton Hall the meeting place of the Forest Hill Christadelphians founded in 1907
Known members of the churches listed below are shown in tables on each entry. Also Tags indicating a CO's religion and membership of 'for' (Fellowship of Reconciliation) can be found by clicking on the navigation bar to the left.
Ann O'Brien, Volunteer at Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre, April 2015, revised September 2015.
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