Quakers and the First World War


Mark and Ruth Tod of Henley Quaker Meeting spoke on 27 November at Dunsden Village Hall about the Society of Friends and pacifism in the First World War.  The Wilfred Owen in Dunsden association, which organised the event as part of a commemorative series, has reported about their talk: ‘During the First World War, Quakers made up a large proportion of some 16,000 registered conscientious objectors. They were the butt of considerable hostility, both at the hands of harshly judgemental tribunals and from members of the public…Some pacifists were ordered to fight and subsequently shot when they refused to do so; others had their sentences commuted to ten years’ hard labour. Some gladly became members of medical corps…In the second half of their presentation, Ruth and Mark Tod concentrated on contemporary efforts by Quakers to work for peace. A series of initiatives across the world was described, including Quaker-facilitated closed sessions of ‘quiet diplomacy’ at major international treaty negotiations, as well as many grassroots initiatives aimed at bringing together those who would otherwise mistrust each other.’

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Posted By TB in , on 18, Nov, 2018