Cyril Pearce ‘Autograph books autobiography’

Between 1916 and 1919 Britain’s First World War conscientious objectors took their autograph books with them as they moved from one work centre and work scheme to another. The entries they persuaded their comrades and friends to make in these books have left us with a rich seam of autobiographical material and impressive art work which often says as much about individual CO’s as any carefully-crafted post war autobiography and from men who would never aspire to literary self-exploration. This short presentation – taken with the material already exhibited – will hope to share some thoughts about this sort of informal autobiography and to encourage anyone who has, or knows of, such a book to make sure it is treasured.