Bringing it up to date
Jane Dawson, Advocacy and Public Relationships Team Lead for Quakers in Britain, reflects on the development of the white feather diaries project.
Sunniva Taylor, Sustainability and Peace Programme Manager for Quaker Peace & Social Witness, explores the links between the action of conscientious objectors of World War I and activism today, asking what working for peace calls us to do in the context of climate change.
The Northern Friends Peace Board was set up in early 1913 to encourage “the active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth.” Philip Austin reflects on the different strands of the NFPB story and their work today promoting peace.
In 1947 Quaker work was recognised in the form of the Nobel Peace Prize. It honoured the relief work during and after the two world wars. Helen Drewery, General Secretary of Quaker Peace & Social Witness, discusses the ongoing responsibilities of those awarded it.
Social movements start with the individual – but to achieve positive, lasting change we need to work collectively. Steve Whiting, Turning the Tide Programme Manager for Quakers in Britain, reflects on how an individual act of conscience can become a movement for change.
Tim Harman, Peace Project Officer for the Quaker Council for European Affairs, discusses QCEA's recent peace advocacy and reflects on the calling to work for peace.
Many conscientious objectors rejected the idea of military 'solutions' to conflict. Hannah Brock of War Resisters’ International shares her thoughts on resisting militarism today, using some of the ideals of those who objected 100 years ago.
In the month of March people around the world will be Flying Kites Not Drones in solidarity with victims of drone warfare. But why focus on this particular weapon? Ellis Brooks, Peace Education and Engagement Coordinator for Quakers in Britain, reflects on the myth of a ‘good weapon’.
ForcesWatch is a research and campaigning organisation which challenges military recruitment practices in the UK that are not in the best interests of young people. They are currently working on raising the age of recruitment to 18 and challenging the growing presence of the military in the education system. Emma Sangster from ForcesWatch discusses their work.
Catherine Henderson, an attender at Hertford and Brussels Quaker Meetings, reflects on welcoming refugees and asylum seekers in communities today.
Conscientious objection today: Still resisting conscription
Hannah Brock of War Resisters’ International shares her thoughts on international networks of people challenging war today.
Mairi Campbell-Jack, Scottish Parliamentary Engagement Officer for Quakers in Britain, shares her work on increasing transparency around armed forces recruitment in schools in Scotland.
Reflections on war, peace and conscience in the form of thoughts, memories, letters and diaries from Quakers in the York area.
Marjorie Gaudie reflects on the experiences of her father-in-law, Norman Gaudie, during WWI and of her husband, Martin Gaudie, during National Service.
Rachel Brett, former Quaker Representative to the United Nations on Human Rights and Refugees, discusses the international recognition of the right to conscientious objection and how it is applied around the world today.
Holly Wallis from Conscience outlines the campaign to extend the right to conscientious objection to allow people to legally object to funding the military through the tax system, diverting taxes to be used on the military towards peacebuilding.
The BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day on the centenary of the Act that brought in conscription and recognised the right to conscientious objection.
It is impossible to know how many troops had doubts about the war after they had seen the humanity of their enemies on Christmas Day.
Howard recognised the link between war and economics.
As a doctor, Hilda provided healing in a war zone without being attached to an army or government.
John Hoare pointed out that the situation was different for women, as they did not face the same pressure to enlist or the threat of conscription – although they faced many other pressures.
In World War I, many Christians were appalled by the support offered to the war by church leaders.
Laurence's descriptions of the horrors of war sit alongside his statement that German and French troops were prepared to do deals to avoid killing each other.
For Howard, objecting to war went alongside standing up for individual liberty. During World War I, the National Council for Civil Liberties was set up to defend freedoms that the government was curtailing during wartime.
Today, as in World War I, pacifists work across the divides created by their governments and armies.
Today, as in World War I, opponents of violence work across the divides created by their governments.
During World War I, as today, several arms companies happily sold weapons to countries fighting against each other.
Howard was well aware that pacifism is not passive but involves actively making the case for peace. Today Quakers and others campaign against war, the arms trade and military power.
While Britain's attention was taken up with the war, initiatives such as medical support for refugees may have received little attention.
The youngest person known to have died fighting in the British army in World War I was 14.
Throughout the war, Laurence poked fun at the censorship regulations that meant parts of his letters were deleted.
Today, many Quakers and other nonviolent activists are following in Hilda's footsteps by travelling to war zones and other areas of conflict to relieve suffering and challenge violence.
Forgiveness was central to Bert's understanding of Christianity and his own life.
Those who reject war can still face pressure to change their views and support the armed forces.