07 November 2018, The Tablet

For King and Country … and conscience


Centenary of the Armistice

For King and Country … and conscience

Conscientious objectors at Dyce Camp, Scotland. Alfred Evans (with a pipe) is third from the right, front row
Photo:

 

“I  am a Catholic, socialist and an Irishman, and hold war to be organised slaughter,” declared Patrick O’Daly in his application for exemption from military service in 1916.  O’Daly was one of little more than 100 identifiable Catholic Conscientious Objectors (COs). Why so few?

The Military Service Act, enforcing compulsory military service, had come into effect in March 1916. Those faced with conscription into the army could apply for exemption from military service at local military service tribunals and then appeal against contested decisions at county tribunals. There were several grounds for being excused from service, including ill-health and serious financial hardship, as well as conscientious objection.

Get Instant Access

Continue Reading


Register for free to read this article in full


Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £21.50 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login