Eddington, Paul Clark (Oral history)
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- whole: Duration 110, Number Of Items 4
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- object name: Oral history
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British civilian conscientious objector and actor with ENSA in GB, 1939-1945
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.
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