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Posts Tagged ‘pacifism’

Although not a formal group, an interesting side-note is the individuals who objected going to war for pacifist and political reasons. The register of objectors is now available online and a trawl finds some local men with the most notable being William Davidson and Arthur Fraser Macintosh. After the war, Macintosh was elected as an Independent Labour Party councillor in Torry (November 1919) and proclaimed himself a Bolshevik. He was a councillor for many years eventually retiring from the Council in 1951. He had also (unsuccessfully) stood in general elections and was a Chairman of the Co-operative Board.

  • Allan Coutts, born 1880, labourer, also in Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, socialist
  • William Davidson, born 1886, stores porter, Vice President of Aberdeen branch of Independent Labour Party, Secretary of National Council Against Conscription
  • Gilbert Findlay, master hairdresser and he said his objection was political
  • William Fraser, born 1878, cellar man, member of Socialist Party and was active in opposing the Boer War
  • Benjamin Hendry, born 1884, carter, socialist and christian
  • William Livingstone, fireman and fitter, trade unionist and socialist and he had been deported from South Africa for his involvement in a rail strike in 1914
  • Franklin Lyon, granite cutter and fisherman?, an agnostic who would take no part in political conventions
  • William Main, born 1884, jobbing and market gardener, from Stonehaven, member of Independent Labour Party. Known as ‘The Stonehaven Internationalist’
  • James Alexander McConnachie, carpenter, from Elgin, member of No-Conscription Fellowship
  • Arthur Fraser Macintosh, born 1877, foreman builder and granite worker
  • Henry McIntyre, cycle mechanic, socialist
  • Alexander Sim, insurance agent, member of Northern Socialist Society
  • Thomson Williamson, born 1895, asylum attendant at Kingseat Mental Hospital, socialist
  • ? Polson, born 1889, teacher, also in Kintore, socialist.

Related entries: Dyce Conscientious Objectors Camp Committee, National Council Against Conscription (Aberdeen) and World War Two conscientious objectors

References: see below

Sources: Conscientious Objectors Register 1914 – 1918 at Imperial War Museum website. For information on Arthur Fraser Macintosh – Aberdeen Daily Journal. For more information on William Main see the North East Folklore Archive school resource ‘Hard Vrocht Grun’.

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The Committee for Peace in Vietnam (Aberdeen) was formed in 1965, following the formation of the national British Council (later Campaign) for Peace in Vietnam (it was active from 1964 until 1976).

The local Committee was a broad group supported by the Labour Party, Liberal Party, Communist Party and trade unions.

Related entries: Aberdeen University Committee for Peace in Vietnam and Aberdeen Youth for Peace in Vietnam.

References: Aberdeen Press and Journal.

Sources: unknown, but some of the national organisation papers are held at University of Cambridge Library.

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A group of staff and students from the University, College of Education and other institutions of higher education and research in Aberdeen, which gathered a petition, and alongside the Aberdeen Committee for Peace in Vietnam, made a deputation to the Government in London in June 1965.

Related entries: Aberdeen Youth for Peace in Vietnam and Committee for Peace in Vietnam (Aberdeen).

References: Aberdeen Press and Journal (June 1965).

Sources: unknown.

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A group that took direct action such as interrupting the city Remembrance Day events in November 1966 and 1967. The group also held a nine hour peace vigil in Union Terrace Gardens in February 1967. The vigil was attended by other groups such as the local Aberdeen Anarchists, Aberdeen University Socialist Society, Youth Campaign Against Nuclear Disarmament and the Young Communist League.

Related entries: Aberdeen University Committee for Peace in Vietnam and Committee for Peace in Vietnam (Aberdeen).

References: Aberdeen Press and Journal.

Sources: unknown.

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The United Troops Out Movement advertised in The Big Print in the late 1970s – early 1980s (although it is not clear whether this was just a contact point or if there was a formal active group in the city).

The national Troops Out Movement campaigned for the withdrawal of British soldiers from Northern Ireland. It was formed in 1973 and is still active today.

Related entries: Aberdeen University Troops Out Society.

References: advert in the Big Print, 1979/1980.

Sources: unknown.

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During World War One, the National Council Against Conscription was established in response to the Military Service Bills of 1916, which introduced conscription for men between 18 and 40. The Council opposed conscription as an infringement on civil liberties and campaigned against the bill seeking to stop it passing through Parliament. The Council was one of many groups operating at the time, such as The No-Conscription Fellowship, and these groups monitored the work of the military tribunals and gave advice to the men who appeared before them. The Council changed its name in 1916 to The National Council for Civil Liberties (n.b. there was another organisation with the same name from the early 1930s and which became Liberty, as it is known today).

There was a branch in Aberdeen and William Davidson, a stores porter, Vice President of the Aberdeen Independent Labour Party, was secretary.

References: Conscientious Objectors Register 1914 – 1918 at Imperial War Museum website (record of William Davidson).

Sources: unknown.

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Dyce Camp was set up in August 1916 to house around 250 conscientious objectors who had been in prison for refusing to fight in World War One. The men were put to work breaking up granite rock for use in road building. The camp was tented, with basic facilities, and soon after arriving one man died of pneumonia. After a public outcry and a debate in Parliament, the camp was closed down in October 1916.

Soon after arrival at the camp, the men had quickly formed into the Dyce Quarry Camp Committee, who campaigned about their conditions in the camp, stating that the camp was not in readiness to receive, and that there was a major lack of medical attention. To publicise their campaign the Committee published their own news-sheet, The Granite Echo, edited and published by one of the Committee, Guy Aldred (1886 – 1963). Aldred, was an author and publisher (The Bakunin Press), and an anarchist communist. He lived in Glasgow, was part of the Glasgow anarchists, and wrote and edited numerous anarchist periodicals and pamphlets.

Related entries: World War Two conscientious objectors.

References: The Granite Echo: Organ of the Dyce C.O.’s (2 issues 1916, issue 1 sourced online) and Dyce Work Camp, Conscientious Objectors and Public Opinion in North-East Scotland 1916: A Documentary History (Joyce Walker, 2011).

Sources: The Granite Echo: Organ of the Dyce C.O.’s (2 issues 1916) (British Library)

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