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  • if im a pacifist so are you
  • you are under arrest for opposing to conscription
  • this is not right
  • Harold Bings was 16 when him and his father were both pacifists and joined the non conscription fellowship. Harold helped by distributing NCF leaflets from house to house and was once chased by a hostile holder
  • I can help you provide vegetarian food
  • After conscription was introduced in 1916, Harold an absolutist went before his tribunal. However, he refused to go to war although he was told that he was top young to go to war at 18 years of age. Policemen came to his house to arrest him. He was court marshaled for disobeying military orders and refusing to regard himself as a soldier. He was sentenced 6 months and hard labour however was in prison for nearly 3 years.
  • Many CO's were given what is known as a cat and mouse treatment - at the end of their sentences in civilian prisons, they were released, returned to the barracks, arrested again for disobeying orders, and being locked up again.
  • you are free to go
  • Harold made a difference himself. he helped vegetarian food be provided by the prison kitchen, and additional nourishment was a mug of cocoa supplied for men who worked overtime. He also made friends with a few of the kinder warders helping the daughter of one of his friends with her maths homework that particular warder died soon after the war and Harold and some other ex prisoners set up a fund to pay for the girl's secondary education.
  • Harold was also one of the men who together created a prison magazine written on thin brown sheets of toilet paper using the end of a needle and the ink supplied for monthly letters home. Just the one copy with different people writing little essays or poems or humorous remarks, sometimes little cartoons or sketches was passed secretly from one prisoner to another. In Harold's prison this unique publication was called 'The Winchester Whisperer'.
  • Harold Bings left prison with his sight damaged by years of stitching mailbags in dim light but also having taught himself German and French. He wanted to teach but he quickly found that many for teachers said 'No CO need apply'. And if you did apply you got turned down as soon as they knew you were a pacifist. But at last he found a headmaster who was willing to employ him. As well as teaching Harold how to be a peace campaigner for the rest of his life. He died in 1975.
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