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THE MEN WHO SAID NO | ROAD TO CONSCRIPTION | CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION | PRISONS | SENTENCED TO DEATH | TRIBUNALS | WIDER CONTEXT | INDEX
WILLIAM JOHN ROBERTS 1886 -  

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William Roberts was dedicated to the anti-war movement long before he was Conscripted under the Military Service Act in 1916. Shortly after the beginning of the war, William had joined the newly-formed No-Conscription Fellowship, and would become Branch Secretary of the Glamorgan NCF, a vitally important role in supporting, organising and campaigning for, local Conscientious Objectors. Despite this evident commitment to the anti-war cause, likely at least partially inspired by his Christian faith, William did not secure exemption as a CO from his local Tribunal. He was called up as a Conscript in early 1917, his conscription likely delayed by a combination of his age (31) and marital status. He was most likely denied exemption, or refused to take any form of exemption other than absolute, as he was in the hands of the army as a resisting Absolutist Objector in May 1917, where he was called up before a court martial for refusing military orders. After a swift hearing, he was sentenced to the first of the several periods in prison he would undergo as a Conscientious Objector. Stints in Wormwood Scrubs and Northallerton prisons would follow, and it is likely that he spent the majority of 1917-1919 in prison. By 1919, the NCF acknowledged him as a “two year man”, one of those unfortunate COs who were being held in prison regardless of the government move to release those who had been held in prison for more than two years. It is very likely that his release came soon after.

 

 

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CO DATA

Born: 1886
Died:
Address: 10 West Street, Swansea
Tribunal: Swansea
Prison: Wormwood Scrubs, Northallerton
HO Scheme: [1]
CO Work:
Occupation:
NCF:Glamorgan Branch Secretary
Motivation: Religious
[2]
ABSOLUTIST

 


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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
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