Refusing to Kill: Bristol’s World War I Conscientious Objectors

  • Remembering the Real World War 1 (Lois Bibbings, Jeremy Clarke, Mary Dobbing, Colin Thomas)

This A4 colour booklet reflects the work of a community history project undertaken by Remembering the Real World War 1, with support from researchers around the country as well as descendants of First World War conscientious objectors. It is based on the exhibition which was staged at Bristol Cathedral, Bristol Central Library and Bristol Archives in 207-2018, which was supported by the University of Bristol

When the exhibition opened in September 2017, the introductory panel read ‘Over 350 men from the Bristol area refused to fight in World War 1.’ Now, thanks to Cyril Pearce’s database, out of a national total of around 20,000, the number of men we can confidently identify as COs from the Bristol area is nearly 580. The list of COs at the end of this booklet includes the names of all 580 men. This new count means the Bristol area had one of the greatest number and greatest density of conscientious objectors in the country. The booklet tells the story of these men and the people in the city who supported them.