The #whitefeather diaries

Publishing the diaries of conscientious objectors of WWI. To refuse to kill is a cause worth dying for.

Meet the people who said no.

Bert Brocklesby
Refused to hate his fellow man
30th Mar 16
We rejoiced at leaving that land of death behind. We learned later about the battle of the #Somme #WW1 #whitefeather
John Hoare
Gave up career to campaign against war
12th May 16
Many men accepted alternative service on principle, a few because they were broken men #WW1 #whitefeather #COday
Hilda Clark
Doctor who risked her life in a war zone
29th Mar 16
Illness has increased very much everywhere and the medical side of the work is getting pressed #WW1 #whitefeather
Howard Marten
Sentenced to death for his beliefs
12th May 16
Taken out to the parade ground then, “The sentence of the court is to suffer death by being shot” #WW1 #whitefeather
Laurence Cadbury
Saved lives, but would not kill
12th May 16
No time for grass to grow over the earth yet, with a few charred stumps that were once trees #WW1 #whitefeather

Stories behind the front line

Mobile phone on old-style newspaper

The white feather diaries project

Jane Dawson, Advocacy and Public Relationships Team Lead for Quakers in Britain, reflects on the development of the white feather diaries project.

Conscientious objector memorial stone, London

We have broken the power of military authority

A year after the war ended the final conference of the No-Conscription Fellowship was held. The fellowship's chairman, Clifford Allen, who had narrowly survived severe illness in prison, urged peace activists to continue campaigning.

Crater in no man's land


There was a spate of British mutinies in December 1918 and January 1919, shortly after the end of the war. Soldiers were angry that they were not being discharged and there was a widespread feeling of frustration with what the war had achieved – or failed to achieve. This is an account of a mutiny in Folkestone in Kent in January 1919.

Mobile phone on old-style newspaper

Conscience and climate activism

Sunniva Taylor, Sustainability and Peace Programme Manager for Quaker Peace & Social Witness, explores the links between the action of conscientious objectors of World War I and activism today, asking what working for peace calls us to do in the context of climate change.

Conscientious objectors memorial stone

Parliament debates the fate of conscientious objectors

Harold Tennant, Under-Secretary of State for War, had told Parliament that no COs had been sent to France, before making an embarrassed climb-down and admitting what had happened. This exchange took place in the House of Commons on 26 June 1916.

Mobile phone on old-style newspaper

The Northern Friends Peace Board

The Northern Friends Peace Board was set up in early 1913  to encourage “the active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth.” Philip Austin reflects on the different strands of the NFPB story and their work today promoting peace.