London WC1R 4HQ. These attitudes softened, however, over the course of the 20th century. ‘But they were very much ... swimming against the tide, the feeling was that we needed to go and support the mother country in times of stress. When balloting commenced in November 1916, close to 10,000 New Zealand soldiers had recently been injured at the battle of the Somme and two reinforcement contingents were short of around 1500 men. Despite this, throughout the rest of the 20th century resistance to war became an increasingly accepted stance. History / Contemporary history (1901 â Present Day) / First World War. The decision to become a CO was still not easy, however. In fact, a number of Quakers actually did go as stretcher-bearers, as non-combatants in the First World War.’. The derogatory term ‘conchie’ became the typical name for a man who appealed against his conscription. He simply did not protest and he did not submit ... he simply was one of those very stoic people who didn’t submit.’. ‘He suffered lacerations and deep holes. Unlike most nations during the First World War, Australia did not introduce conscription. These men were usually court marshalled, imprisoned and in a number of cases brutalised. ‘There was a troop ship in Wellington called the Waitemata; it had some space. RN Search You are using an old version of Internet Explorer. ‘There was quite vigorous opposition, mostly from left-wing Labour people who opposed it. Both Baxter and Briggs carried on to the end and suffered considerable brutality. ', 'People rushed to enlist in the period from the outbreak of war up to the landing at Gallipoli, there were plenty of men to fulfil the requirements of a volunteer army to go and fight the Turks and the Germans.’. A Database of Conscientious Objectors in the First World War September 24, 2015 ELIW News Archive An extensive database of conscientious objectors during the First World War which has been compiled by researcher Cyril Pearce over many years is now available to search, free of charge, for those wishing to explore the story of their family or community. Some men were accused of homosexuality (then illegal) and depicted acting in camp fashion. The government was worried that there could be resistance to conscription, but the great majority of young New Zealand men who were called up in the ballot did enlist. Baxter rejected the war both as a pacifist and as a Christian socialist. But the great bulk of them were people of extreme left-wing persuasion.’. The names of 400 conscientious objectors who passed through Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire during the First World War will be revealed for the first time. ‘Archibald Baxter, once he survived and didn’t submit after the field punishment, he was told to march with his fellows into another part of the Western Front,’ says Grant. This was called 'Field Punishment Number One'. After he rejected an army medical examination in Palmerston North, he was escorted to Trentham Military Camp. He was balloted for service and arrested just after conscription was introduced in New Zealand in November 1916. ', Listen to RN's World War One special to hear about the anarchists, Marxists, Christian pacifists, nationalists, women's groups and intellectuals who opposed the war and conscription. Lesson examining conscientious objectors in WW1 and the implications for people who objected to the war on religious or moral grounds. They had some discussion for some time before the bill was passed in August of 1916 and enacted in November of 1916.’. In the early part of the war, it was often applied with the arms stretched out and the legs tied together, giving rise to the nickname ‘crucifixion’. It was a very different story overseas, where conscription was introduced in Britain, New Zealand and the United States. By the end of 1915, however, things had begun to change. It has become increasingly clear that while First World War COs were strongly criticised and ridiculed in the media, attitudes towards them in local communities were much more ambiguous, and in places supportive.