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THE MEN WHO SAID NO | ROAD TO CONSCRIPTION | CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION | PRISONS | SENTENCED TO DEATH | TRIBUNALS | WIDER CONTEXT | INDEX
WALTER LESLIE ROBERTS 1985 - 1916  

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Walter Roberts from Stockport was one of first conscientious objectors to face a Tribunal. He was also the first of many to die as a result of his imprisonment. Like many others who had languished in appalling conditions in prison or been sent to France to face execution and subsequently reprieved he was sent to the remote Dyce Camp in Aberdeenshire to break rocks.

Walter was an architectural student and socialist. He was refused exemption by his tribunal and was imprisoned in Wormwood Scrubs and Bedford, before accepting the Home Office Scheme at Dyce camp.

By the time he arrived at the quarry he was in a state of exhaustion after four months of hard labour and collapsed a fortnight after his arrival. In the heavy rain of late summer 1916 he developed a cold which turned to pneumonia contracted from being constantly wet in the rotten tents condemned by the army but seen fit enough for the COs.

tribunal textToo weak to be moved to hospital he dictated a letter to his mother:
'As I anticipated, it has only been a question of time for the camp conditions here to get the better of me. Bartle Wild is now writing to my dictation, as I am too weak to handle a pen myself. I don’t want you to worry yourself because the doctor says I have only got a severe chill, but it has reduced me very much. All these fellows here are exceedingly kind and are looking after me like bricks, so there is no reason why I should not be strong in a day or two, when I will write more personally and more fully.'

Walter died two days later.

Walters’ death led to the closure of the camp. Walter is one of 70 names on the WW1 CO Plaque in the PPU office. Over 100 COs died during the period of their servitude.

 

Walter ls 'the first of our members to meet his death in our fight against militarism.'
Fenner Brockway writing in The Tribunal


 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CO DATA

Born: 1895
Died: 8 September 1916
Address: 388, Stockport Road, Bredbury, Cheshire
Tribunal:
Prison: Bedford
HO Scheme:Dyce [1]
CO Work:
Occupation: Architect
NCF:YES
Motivation: ILP

ALTERNATIVIST

 


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WIDER CONTEXT | more
ROAD TO CONSCRIPTION
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CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION
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TRIBUNALS | more
SENTENCED TO DEATH | more
PRISONS | more
HOME OFFICE CENTRES | more

READ | more

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