A matter of principle
Duncan McCormack was a working-class socialist. At the outbreak of World War I, he determined that he would not participate in what he later called a “fight to redistribute the spoils of colonialism.” When conscription was introduced, he ignored his call-up papers and was eventually arrested by the military police. Here he describes the cycle of military camp, court martial, prison and hard labour which conscientious objectors were subjected to for the remaining duration of the war and beyond. As his second prison sentence was for two years, he was kept in prison even after the war ended.
Pacifism on the home front
In this excerpt, Millicent Baxter recalls her conversion to pacifism during World War I as a result of reading a letter written by her future husband, the pacifist objector Archibald Baxter. Millicent had not then met Archibald, but the letter to his parents, published in the newspaper Truth, moved her to investigate his pacifist viewpoint. In the face of popular patriotism, she adopted those views for herself.