To kill or not to kill

Conscientious objector memorial plaque saying "To all those who have established and are maintaining the right to refuse to kill"

memorial plaqueHave you heard the story of the sixteen thousand who refused to kill?

On Thursday 26 March 2015, join Simon Heywood a storyteller and former peacemaker for thought-provoking journey from Huddersfield Town Hall back to the Great War of 1914-19.

Find out what it was really like to go against public and your own family’s opinion and become a ‘conchie’ or conscientious objector.

In 1916, as soldiers died and volunteers grew scarce, the British government began the first ever mass conscription of its own citizens. Of millions called up, sixteen thousand claimed the new right to conscientious objection, so many that the government didn’t know what to do with them.

As their world collapsed, the “conchies” embarked on a long, lonely and silent war against war itself. They suffered ridicule, torture and imprisonment. Their stand split families and communities. They played cat-and-mouse with the state. Some were forced to the front; others went willingly, or toiled on the home front; a thousand refused, and went to jail. Some went mad; some died. Many survived the war to embark on lives of public service. We reap the benefits of this legacy today.

Simon and singer-storyteller Shonaleigh will be telling the story from the objectors first-hand accounts, letters, diaries and memoirs.

The event is being held at Huddersfield Town Hall on Thursday 26th March 2015 and starts at 7.30pm and tickets are on sale for £3.

Buy tickets online

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