Whatever the Penalties
DVD2016 66 Minutes
The story of conscientious objectors to WW1
Tells the story of an almost forgotten gathering of conscientious objectors in World War One. They represented a small minority who defied the 1916 Military Service Act – the law that introduced conscription to Britain for the first time. Members and supporters of the No Conscription Fellowship, they stood by their religious and political convictions, and refused to join the war, whatever the penalties. In doing so they faced intense public hostility, ridicule, violence and even death. 17 minutes
Also includes an interview with the historian Cyril Pearce, who explains the wider context of the events shown in the film, the reasons for conscription, the response of those resisting the war and how the military and civilian authorities dealt with them. He is the author of ‘Comrades in Conscience’ and creator of the world’s most extensive database of WW1 Conscientious Objectors, hosted online by the Imperial War Museum in London. 49 minutes
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