Conscientious Objectors - Bible Society

Conscientious Objectors

Some 16,000 British men refused the call to join the Armed Forces after the Military Service Act in 1916. Some simply felt that Germany wasn’t their enemy. But others refused to fight on religious grounds.

Most of those who became known as conscientious objectors were Quakers.

Around 4,500 were sent to do work of national importance, such as farming. Some 7,000 more were given non-combatant roles. But 7,000 were sent to prison.

Thirty five, including some mentioned here, were sentenced to death for refusing to fight…but had their sentences commuted. 

Why one man endured a rat-infested cell because of his faith

Why one man endured a rat-infested cell because of his faith

Howard Cruttenden Marten grew up in North London where he attended the Methodist Church. He later went on to become a Quaker. His faith led him to be a conscientious objector. So, when he was conscripted in 1916, he refused to join up.

‘Vengeance is mine’

‘Vengeance is mine’

Bert Brocklesby was a 25-year-old teacher from Conisbrough, South Yorkshire. He came from a close-knit family of four boys whose father, the local grocer, was a leading light in the Methodist church.

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