Ian Kirk-Smith, editor of the Friend (2010 – present), writes about a fellow editor, Hubert W Peet (1932-1949)
I expect it is difficult for you to understand why I am not at home with you all. Some day you will understand all about it. The English people and the German people have got angry with each other like two children who want the same toys and hundreds of men are now trying to kill each other.
Now Daddy and Mummy and lots of other people think it is wrong even if another person gets angry with you, for you to get angry with them. The only thing to do, even if they try to hurt you, is to love them and love them all the more. This is why your Daddy says he cannot be a soldier and go and try and kill the daddies of little German boys and girls.
How do you tell your children that you are in prison? How do you explain that you are there because you do not want to fight when millions of men are laying their lives on the line for their country?
Hubert Peet, prompted by conscience, made a difficult choice: to be an absolutist. It had significant consequences. He was not to live with his family for over two years.
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