Reading the Past

The pre-war ILP plays a leading role in two new books of contrasting types – one a novel set in north east England, the other a radical ramblers’ guide to the capital. MATTHEW BROWN follows the literary and geographical traces of our past....

One Man Against the War

HOLLIE BUSH tells the tale of Alf Myers, an ILPer and ironstone miner from a small Teesside village, whose refusal to fight in World War One almost cost him his life. Many lived through the conflict of World War One. Some fought in it, some lived it out on the home front – in Teesside,...

Remembering Bristol’s Anti-War Hero

Until recently Walter Ayles was almost a forgotten figure in Bristol. But a new group is reminding the city of a man who opposed the First World War from its jingoistic beginning to its bitter end. COLIN THOMAS explains why the group is campaigning for a blue plaque to honour his memory. Bristol’s Remembering...

WWI: Lest We Forget

One hundred years on from the start of World War One, PAUL SIMPSON remembers the tale of a Durham ILPer and conscientious objector who died in prison for his anti-war beliefs. As we approach Remembrance Day on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, I am reminded of an account I read...

WWI: Communities of Resistance

Cyril Pearce will introduce ideas from his forthcoming book on British conscientious objectors in a talk at the Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre on Saturday 8 November....

ILP in Devon on BBC Four

The ILP’s role in promoting workers’ rights and pacifism in Devon during World War One is currently featuring in a documentary on BBC4, to be shown again this Friday morning and available on iPlayer....

WWI: ILP Oppose the War Drive

In September 1914, ILP representatives refused to follow the Labour Party in heeding the government’s call for a national campaign of recruitment to the armed forces, arguing that they would not “stand by militarists and enemies of labour”. Here, we reproduce a report from the Glasgow Herald of 3 September 1914 of the ILP national...

WWI: Alternative Voices & War Resisters

A series of talks, discussions and conferences to remember those who opposed the First World War will be held in London this autumn, providing an alternative narrative to the official commemorations currently enjoying such a high profile in the media....

WWI: Harold Croft and the Northampton Anti-War Campaign

JOHN BUCKELL describes the life and times of Northampton ILPer Harold Croft, who faced prison, hardship and abuse for being a conscientious objector and anti-war activist. On 9 November 1920, at statutory meetings all over England, borough councils elected mayors and aldermen. Almost always these were a formality, the results agreed in advance between the...