15th May 2016, 3:00 pm - 3:30 pmat National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire
Sunday 15 May, is Conscientious Objector Day. To mark this day and the centenary of the introduction of conscription in Britain, a Quaker Meeting for Worship, with readings, will be held at 3:00 pm at the Quaker service memorial which is located at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
When concription was introduced in 1916, along with other pacifists in the No-Conscription Fellowship, many Quakers refused to fight: to kill, in any circumstances, went against their conscience. Some took on non-combative work, such as helping wounded soldiers and civilians in the Friends Ambulance Unit. Others felt that this was still contributing to the war, and refused to fight at all. They stood up for their right to refuse to kill, and many faced prison. Some were even sentenced to death, and only reprieved at the last minute. The sacrifices of all these people are remembered at the Quaker service memorial.
Members of the Quaker Service Memorial Trust will be at the Arboretum main reception from 2:30 pm to meet and greet you. We will depart from the Arboretum building at 2:45 to walk to the memorial site, allowing 15 minutes. There is limited seating at the memorial site – a cushion is advisable, or a folding chair if you prefer to sit rather than stand during the silent Meeting for Worship which will last for half an hour – weather permitting.
For more details and practicalities, see the Quaker Service Memorial Trust website.
National Memorial Arboretum
Croxall Road, Alrewas Staffordshire DE13 7AR