All of a peace: Cyril Pearce on Friends’ work with other organisations to resist the first world war

‘Meetings began to see the purpose of their faith in a far closer engagement with a whole range of social, moral and even political issues’

Left to right: Walter Ayles, John P. Fletcher, Will Chamberlain, Barry Brown, Clifford Allen, Fenner Brockway. | Photo: The NCF Executive Committee en route to prison 17 July 1916.

Readers will likely be familiar with the broad issues of British Quakers’ response to the outbreak of war in 1914. Even the more recent work on their divisions, and Thomas Kennedy’s identification of ‘War Quakers’, has been absorbed into the narrative. What is less clearly understood is the extent to which, rather than standing alone, Quakers in communities across Britain were deeply involved in the day-to-day business of opposing the war and in supporting others who did so.

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