Chloë Mason, Cyril Pearce and others, ‘The campaign to clear Alice Wheeldon’s name: a family of resisters during the First World War and now, why does the story matter?’

Led by Alice’s great-grandaughter, Chloë Mason, this session will look at the campaign to clear the names of Alice Wheeldon, Winne and Alf Mason and looks back at the history of the case.

Currently: Counsel are being instructed and an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission is being constructed – the goal being the quashing the convictions of Alice, Winne and Alf for conspiracy to murder the PM Lloyd George.

The background: Over the centenary, Chloë has been researching her family and the Wheeldon trial. In 1917 Alice Wheeldon with her daughter and son-in-law, Winnie Mason and Alf Mason – Chloë’s grandparents – were convicted of conspiracy to murder (by poison) David Lloyd George and Arthur Henderson.

Until 1986 shortly before he died, her father, Peter Mason, maintained a protective silence. Alice Wheeldon is no longer hidden from history as a war resister; Alice is being recognised as having demonstrated remarkable fortitude. This turnaround has come about through decades of solid historical research, collaborative work in producing plays and books, and in 2012 the Derby Peoples History Group kicking-off the campaign to clear their names.

The Wheeldon session is a natural follow-on from the Saturday workshop on research and story-telling about COs and other resisters. And also raises questions about then and now, joining the dots.