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Record page In New Zealand libraries. Has detailed sections on shirkers, pacifists, anti-militarists, and conscription and its resistance. Also includes many interesting primary sources, and some demographic data of objectors. Gives a more general and sociological perspective, and is particularly useful for looking at pacifist movements and national attitudes towards anti-militarism and objection.

Given that promoting conscientious objection before and after the war was illegal, there is little written primary material. However, there are two particularly relevant larger texts, both available online.

Why research this topic?

Henry Holland was the most outspoken labour critic of conscription and advocate for the objectors. This book is his record of the punishments and treatment of conscientious objectors. Minute Books of the New Zealand Freedom League , an Auckland organisation formed to promote anti-militarism and assisting objectors. The diary of Rose Atkinson , who attended the trials of anti-conscriptionists in Chirstchurch.

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Compilations of papers from various pacifist organisations from during and after the First World War:. Papers relating to conscientious objection to military service and the transcripts of some legal proceedings involving objectors, produced by the Religious Society of Friends in New Zealand. Published secondary material, including the books listed above, is a great place to start when looking for images.

There are only a few directly relevant photographs in the collections such as this photograph , viewable at the Library , but a lot of material that can provide context. See the images section of the main First World War guide for more help.

Conscientious objectors

Newspaper cartoons can give you an idea about prevailing social attitudes. The Library holds a large number of oral histories, including interviews with soldiers, objectors, and their families. You can browse records for oral histories online follow the link to Oral History Collections , but will need to come into the Wellington reading rooms to listen.

The non-violent objection of many Tainui Maori and the actions of resistance by the Maori Princess Te Puea Herangi provide important context. For more on this, see:. Archives New Zealand holds many records on First World War conscientious objectors and military defaulters.

Bristol's WWI Conscientious Objectors - Bristol Radical History Group

The most informative were created by the Army Department these have the code AD. Files about objectors imprisoned in New Zealand can also be found in Justice Department Prison Branch records coded with J40 , but restrictions apply. Now put the department's code AD or J40 in the 'Former Arch ref' search box, and use terms like objector or defaulter in the 'Keywords' box.

You can also find records on courts martial , discipline , deserters , and aliens by using these as keywords with the same search.


You'll need to view the actual files at the Wellington Office, as most have not been digitised. However some objectors and defaulters have a digitised personnel file on Archway, which can be found by a simple search using their name.

Also useful is the alphabetical list of military defaulters published in the NZ Gazette 14 May , which can be accessed at Archives New Zealand. Close message. Everything including the collections. National Library website only. Ask a librarian More search options Ask a librarian Sign in.

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Home Our services for researchers Research guides Conscientious objectors. Why research this topic? Want a more general view of the war? Read up on the background and general history of objection in New Zealand.

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Conscientious objection — NZHistory. Jump to navigation. Young people in the UK have marked International Conscientious Objectors' Day by insisting that they will resist militarism in everyday life.

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  4. Jay, who began campaigning several years ago against military visits to his own school in Ayrshire, said that young people in the UK today are honouring the conscientious objectors of the past by continuing to resist militarism today. He said, "The same psychological tactics that the armed forces and their allies used then are being used now Events to mark the day have been taking place in six continents.

    Spring marks the centenary of the release of most, but not quite all, conscientious objectors who were still in prison for refusing to fight in World War One. Songs were led by Sue Gilmurray and the Raised Voices choir. The names were read out of 85 conscientious objectors from across centuries and countries - only a small representative sample of the many thousands of names that could have been chosen.