Religious and political groups

This guide was last updated in 2009

Looking at the reasons given for objection is a moot point, the most common explanations for an unwillingness to fight being on political and religious grounds.

Few religions were against the war and most Christian churches actively supported recruitment. However, it should be said that that did not stop many of their flock from objection.

Nevertheless, the Quakers are the group most closely associated with conscientious objection and they have general and individual records, manuscripts, pictures, etc, on file at the Quaker Library in London. The archives for the Central Board for Conscientious Objectors are also held here. For a complete list visit

The main political party against the First World War was the Socialist Independent Labour Party, which worked with the Quakers in unsuccessfully fighting the introduction of conscription. The Working Class Movement Library, in Salford, Greater Manchester, holds a number of records of conscientious objectors in the First World War (


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