'British Conscientious Objectors during the Great War' with Lois Bibbings
21 Mar

Based on over thirty years research, this talk looks at the context of conscription, the Military Service Acts, who the objectors were, what they did during the War and what happened to them next. Stories are drawn from the national context, as well as from some of the excellent local history work that has been done to investigate these men, in order the bring their stories to life and illustrate the complexities of the topic. For example, the talk uses photographs and cartoons to show that not all objectors were pacifists and some ended up doing unexpected things during the War. In addition, far from being shunned or condemned as cowards and traitors, they were sometimes revered as heroes and patriots.
The talk draws on the national context as well as the 'special' Bristol context and research conducted by local history group Remembering the Real World War 1.
About the speaker: Lois is Professor of Law, Gender and History at the University of Bristol Law School. She is an academic lawyer and historian. Her World War One publications include: Telling Tales About Men: Conceptions of Conscientious Objectors to Military Service During the First World War and the co-authored Refusing To Kill: Bristol's World War 1 Conscientious Objectors.
She has extensive experience of public speaking involving varied audiences, from school children to policymakers.
Some of her recent work has been done as a member of Bristol history group, Remembering the Real World War 1 and has a local focus.
In 2019 she delivered the Ypres Armistice Day Lecture and the Conscientious Objectors' Day address in Tavistock Square and also oversaw the running of a national festival, 'Commemoration, Conflict and Conscience', on hidden histories of WW1. As part of the latter, she curated an exhibition on conscientious objection and art 'The Art and Nature of Conscience'.
With the local history group she co-curated the 'Refusing to Kill' exhibition which was displayed at Bristol Cathedral in 2017. During the pandemic she helped put together online materials about WW1 conscientious objection for schools.
In terms of media work, she has talked about her WW1 research on ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, the World Service and Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’.
She collaborates with artists, performers and puppets to convey her research in more accessible forms.


Main Picture: Whiteford brothers of Bristol (Graham, Hubert and Wilfred)

Walthamstow Cricket Tennis & Squash Club, 48a Greenway Ave, London. E17 3QN
21 Mar 2024 19:30