Eye - a hundred years ago

From cunning plans to devout skeptics

Masthead of The Winchester Whisperer, a CO publication written on toilet paper. | Photo: Copyright the Library of the Religious Society of Friends.

Cunning plans

Catherine Marshall at the No-Conscription Fellowship (N-CF) office devised a cunning plan to help conscientious objectors (COs) communicate with each other and cheat the silence rule. Every member awaiting arrest was provided with pencil leads, a sticking plaster and instructions for smuggling them into his cell. New prisoners were strip-searched, but one part of the body that wasn’t routinely inspected was the soles of their feet, so the instructions were to place the pencil leads there and seal them with the plaster.

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