Red Lion Square
Only through researching the COs’ struggle against conscription, did I come to learn the full extent of Bertrand Russell’s passionate commitment to the anti-war effort – pretty much giving up his own work for the duration of the war in order to help and support the young COs. He became acting chairman of the No-Conscription Fellowship, and eventually went to prison himself for six months in 1918 – for an article he’d written.
This image is of Clifford Allen, agnostic socialist, and quietly charismatic chairman of the No-Conscription Fellowship – before his imprisonment for refusing military service. He served three prison sentences including many weeks of solitary confinement on bread and water diets, at the end of which he was a frail and emaciated thirty year old, who looked twice his age, weighed less than eight stone and was suffering from the onset of tuberculosis.
This is Fenner Brockway, founder of the No-Conscription Fellowship, a crucial organisation supporting COs during WW1, and which constantly challenged and harried the government and the military for fair treatment of COs during the war. Continue reading