Bing, Harold Frederick (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 358
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 165, Number Of Items 11
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British civilian in Croydon, GB, 1914-1916; absolutist conscientious objector in Kingston Barracks, Wormwood Scrubs and Winchester Prisons in GB, 1916-1919

Content description

REEL 1 Aspects of period as civilian in Croydon, GB, 1914-1916: atmosphere at school, 1914-1915; pacifist influence in family home; attending anti-war demonstration in Trafalgar Square, 1914; opinion of government war propaganda; membership and activities of Croydon Branch of No Conscription Fellowship. REEL 2 Continues: organisation of No Conscription Fellowship; recreational activities; appearing before local military service tribunal hearing; procedure and attitudes of appeal tribunal; arrest and conviction. Aspects of period as absolutist conscientious objector imprisoned in Kingston Barracks, GB, 1916: transfer to barracks and court martial, 9/1916. REEL 3 Continues: spending birthday in Kingston Barracks, 9/1916; behaviour of Sergeant Templer. Recollections of period as absolutist conscientious objector in Wormwood Scrubs and Winchester Prisons in GB, 1916-1919: question of tribunals not being in the spirit of the law; military representatives; attending central tribunal and refusal of Home Office Scheme; removal to barracks at Tunbridge Wells, then Kingston Barracks and onto 19th Eastern Non-Combatant Corps near Winchester; experiences with Non-Combatant Corps; second and third court martials. REEL 4 Continues: military law and court martial procedure; guardroom conditions; question of wearing military uniforms; treatment of conscientious objectors in Winchester and Wormwood Scrubs Prisons; hard labour sentence; prison work; description of cell in Winchester Prison. REEL 5 Continues: communication with other prisoners; relations between conscientious objectors and warders; sympathetic warder at Winchester Prison; prison rations; conscientious objectors on vegetarian diet; provision of books. REEL 6 Continues: arrangement for books to be sent into prison; question of powers of concentration declining in prison; improvised writing materials; production of periodical the ‘Winchester Whisperer’; use of smuggled writing supplies; communication between cells; prison doctors and dentist; death of conscientious objector prisoner Walter Bone; background to Martha Steinitz and the memorial to conscientious objectors who died. REEL 7 Continues: Clifford Allen’s work strike at Winchester Prison; sustainment of Clifford Allen’s health; degree of knowledge of world events; Clifford Allen’s work strike tactics; relations between absolutist and alternativist conscientious objectors; activities of conscientious objectors’ sympathisers; public hostility towards conscientious objectors. REEL 8 Continues: hostility of prison chaplain in Winchester Prison; effect of pacifist position on family; degree of contact with outside world; a hanging which took place in Winchester Prison; morale of conscientious objectors; mental attitude and adjustment to prison regime. REEL 9 Continues: awareness of date in prison; discussion of discharge certificate; problems of obtaining toothbrush; memories of Charlotte Despard; printing and distribution of ‘Tribunal’; discharge from Winchester Prison, 1919. REEL 10 Continues: recuperation in community at Stanford-le-Hope; start of teaching career at Chatham, 1919. Reflections of period as absolutist conscientious objector in GB, 1916-1919: question of post-war discrimination against conscientious objectors; refusal to participate with Home Guard or fire-watching activities during Second World War. REEL 11 Continues: influence of First World War conscientious objectors on public opinion and official attitudes during the Second World War; attributes for surviving imprisonment; influence on prison reform of conscientious objectors; memories of Eric Chappelow.

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