Gerry Barton and John Babb ‘WW1 Conscientious Objectors – Victims of WW1 Militarism?’

With our end of 20th century perspective, some view conscientious objectors as victims of the then prevailing militarism. Using mainly the actual words of many of those involved, including COs, tribunal clerks and members, this perspective will be examined , showing the different contemporary attitudes and experiences of conscientious objection in Staffordshire. This dialogue is based on research done by Gerry Barton and John Babb using the surviving Mid-Staffs Appeal Tribunal papers, local newspaper reports and other archive material.

Gerry Barton and John Babb are independent researchers who started as volunteers in a Staffordshire Record Office project working on the Mid-Staffordshire Appeal Tribunal papers which had survived destruction after the war. They focussed on the ‘appeals on grounds of conscience’ and when the project was finished    they decided to continue their research and publish a book.