Private Papers of H R Albrow

Catalogue number
  • Documents.16794
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Documents
Subject period
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  • whole: 1 file
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private papers

History note

Catalgouer BEK

Content description

Transcribed ts memoir (127pp), giving excellent and lively details of his experiences as a Conscientious Objector during the First World War (1915 – November 1919), including his testimony before a Military Tribunal during which he declared himself opposed to warfare as both a Socialist and a Moralist, his stay at Warley Barracks with some members of the Irish Guards, his assignment to a non-combatant corps at Newhaven, Sussex, where he was pelted with sticks by civilians around the camp, his work on the docks, where he was arrested for refusing to salute an officer, his correspondence with Philip Snowden over the poor quality of his rations, the strike of civilian dock workers during which the Non-Combatants refused to work as strike-breakers and were declared mutineers, his transfer to Parkhouse Camp, where he mentions a Salvation Army worker who refused to serve any Non-Combatants (December 1916), his work at Tidworth Barracks as a plumbers’ mate in a military hospital for venereal diseases (January 1917 – March 1917), his transfer to a camp near Bulford, where he wrote to the Agricultural Worker’s Union in regards to the wages being below the legal minimum for local farm labourers, his further appeals to Snowden to investigate the medical treatment of Non-Combatants in the camp at Bulford (November 1918), his transfer to the 8th Company NCC stationed at Perham Downs Camp, Salisbury Plain (December 1918), where he was asked to defend a driver of the Royal Engineers who was accused of giving bread to German prisoners of war, his involvement in a theatrical troupe at Perham Downs and his observations on the German prisoners of war who were stationed nearby, and his anger over not being allowed to visit his family (May 1919). Around this time, Albrow was brought to trial, accused under the Defence of the Realm Act of attempting to incite the civil population during war, but the case was overturned due to lack of evidence and he was later discharged (November 1919). Though not always chronologically consistent, the memoir gives superb information on the morality of a Conscientious Objector and his opinions both about the war and the soldiers he met, as well as the varied opinions about conscientious objectors held by civilians and soldiers at the time.

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