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‘Resisting the First World War in Camden and Islington’ with Ben Copsey

Ben Copsey explores the variety of war resistance activity that took place in Camden and Islington in response to WWI.


‘Resisting the First World War in Camden and Islington’
with Ben Copsey

Wednesday 13th August, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In the year of the centenary commemorations surrounding the start of the First World War, Peace Pledge Union has undertaken a project called ‘Objecting to War’, which explores and documents the stories of those who refused to fight, so they are remembered and their reasons understood.

Over 16,000 men registered as conscientious objectors after the introduction of conscription in 1916. Many were imprisoned for their beliefs, subject to threats of execution and to torture. Over 100 would die as a result of their objection. After the war they were often shunned and their experiences untold, but their contribution to the causes of human rights and prison reform as well as their tireless campaign for peaceful solutions to world problems ensures they are an important part of 20th century history.

‘Objecting to War’ focuses on unearthing the lives and stories of these conscientious objectors in the Greater London area. Each individual had their own reasons and motivations for refusing conscription and the Peace Pledge Union wants to discover what those were. Was it for religious reasons? Was it for political beliefs? What happened to them, during and after the war? Why were they so dedicated to their refusal to kill?

Project Officer of ‘Objecting to War’ Ben Copsey, will be presenting some of the many stories he has uncovered, as relating to boroughs local to Housmans Bookshop, Islington and Camden

Ben comments “‘Objecting to War’ will help volunteer researchers to uncover the relevance of these forgotten stories to the world today through our focus on the narrative of the life of a CO during the First World War, from surveillance, harassment and unfair trial, to imprisonment, torture and – in some cases – death. We will focus on the stories of these brave men and women who stood up to be counted as against militarism, conscription and the atrocities of war.”

This event is part of Housmans' 'London's Burning' season, which explores the capital's radical past, present and future.


Ben Copsey | talks


Date and Time:

13 August 2014 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
King’s Cross
N1 9DX
020 7837 4473

More at Housmans Bookshop...



Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Available from:

Additional Information:

We're very easy to find - just a two minute walk from King's Cross/St.Pancras terminals. Housmans is at the bottom end of Caledonian Road where it meets with Pentonville Road. If you have any problems finding us, give us a call!

020 7837 4473

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