Eddington, Paul Clark (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 9328
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 110, Number Of Items 4
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


Purchase & License
Object description

British civilian conscientious objector and actor with ENSA in GB, 1939-1945

Content description

REEL 1: Background in GB, 1927-1939: Quaker beliefs of father; mother's religious and political beliefs; education at Quaker boarding school, Sibford, Oxfordshire; opinion of school; discipline; views on co-education at school; attitude to war; conscientious objectors among staff; opinion of headmaster; various memories of European refugees at school; awareness of persecution of Jews in Germany; attitude to Nazis from pacifist viewpoint; mother's views; memories of Munich Crisis, 1938; reaction to outbreak of war and evacuation, 3/Sep/1939. Aspects of period in GB, 1939-1944: evacuated to Birmingham and education; effects of war and problem of lack of food; period on farm. REEL 2 Continues: various memories of London Blitz, 1941; lived in Chelsea; air raids and bombing of docks; noise of bombs and bomb damage; attitude to death; question of community spirit in London; problem of lack of food and low morale; further memories of period on farm near Worcester; artistic background of family; employment as window dresser at Lewis's store in Birmingham; opinion of work and management; story of refusing to contribute to Spitfire fund; reason for becoming an actor; activities with amateur dramatic society. Aspects of period with ENSA in GB, 1944-1945: story of audition in London; wages; duties as Assistant Stage Manager and actor; social life; accommodation and travel; called up for military service and registered as conscientious objector; story of drunken actor. REEL 3 Continues: story of conversation with commanding officer about pacifist beliefs; various memories of shows and venues; opinion of service audiences; further comments on duties as Assistant Stage Manager; attitude of other actors to pacifist beliefs; story of tribunal in Birmingham to register as conscientious objector, 1944; explanation of religious reasons for pacifism; question of returning to ENSA in Far East, 1945. Aspects of post-war life and employment: joined Birmingham Rep as stage manager; opinion of company; question of going to prison for beliefs; hostility towards conscientious objectors; feeling of isolation and support from friends and family; story of attending protest against Suez invasion, 1956; pacifist beliefs and career; involvement with peace organisations; political beliefs. REEL 4 Continues: question of conflict between beliefs and characters played; continuing hostility to pacifist beliefs including hate mail; effects of pacifist beliefs on career as actor; story of burning Labour party card; question of pacifism and class; attitude to patriotism and propaganda during Second World War; opinion of Churchill and speeches; influence of Friends Ambulance Unit on pacifist beliefs; discussion of pacifist beliefs; reaction to Cuban Missile Crisis, 1961; attitude to use of personal violence; comparison of treatment of conscientious objectors during First and Second World Wars; further memories of father; attitude to popularity and assessment of own character.

Associated items
Associated people and organisations
Associated places
Associated events
Associated keywords

IWM Non Commercial Licence

The media for this item are free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. Video, sound and images can be embedded with the code we offer here, and images can also be downloaded.

By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution statement specified by IWM. For this item, that is: © IWM

  • Embed HTML
  • Embed HTML
  • Embed HTML
  • Embed HTML