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...

WWI: Resisting the War in Hebden Royd & Calder Valley

JONATHAN TIMBERS looks at the activity of ILP branches in the Upper Calder valley in the period before conscription was introduced in 1916, when the British army relied on volunteers to fight the Germans. It was the period before conscientious objection. The story reveals a lot about the troubled relationship developing between the ILP and...

WWI: Down with the War!

On 6 August 1914, just nine days after the start of what came to be known as World War One, the ILP published a front page appeal in its weekly journal, Labour Leader, imploring the “workers of Great Britain” to unite with those across Europe and resist the government’s call to arms....

ILP Profiles: Morgan Jones and the First World War

WAYNE DAVID recounts the life of Morgan Jones, an ILP councillor and anti-war activist who emerged from the hardship of prison to become the first conscientious objector elected to Parliament. Morgan Jones was born on 3 May 1885 in the village of Gelligaer at the foot of Gelligaer mountain. His birthplace was the small Rhos...

Lest we Forget

Priyamvada Gopal’s article on the resistance to the First World War (Honour those who fought – and those who would not, 28 February) provides an excellent and much needed rebalancing of the debate about the war. She rightly argues that those who opposed the conflict also deserve remembering. Not least the sacrifices that many...

WWI: ‘Workers, Stand for Peace’

On 31 July 1914 the ILP’s Keir Hardie and Arthur Henderson signed an ‘Appeal to the British Working Class’ on behalf of the British section of the International Socialist Bureau, which called for them to ‘act promptly and vigorously in the interests of peace’. ‘There is no time to lose,’ they said. ‘Men and women...

WWI: The ILP and the ‘Great’ War

The ILP played a major role in the anti-war and no conscription movements during the First World War. Many were gaoled, and many abused for their principled, political opposition to the conflict. Yet, not all ILPers became conscientious objectors, as IAN BULLOCK explains....

WWI: Remember Those Who Refused to Fight

‘We have a duty to educate future generations about the First World War,’ declared David Cameron, announcing centenary commemorations of the war’s outbreak in 1914. We have a duty to remember the whole story, argues OWEN ADAMS, including those who opposed the conflict. ...