Opposition to WW1 in Britain - a community lecture

Opposition to WW1 in Britain and the Road to Peace


A community lecture organised by Wales for Peace dealing with the divergent opinions in the Opposition to WW1 in Britain will be held at Y Morlan, Aberystwyth at 2pm 16th of March 2016. Over one million combatants from Britain and its empire died and the country was saddled with crippling debts that took one hundred years to pay off.


The lecture will be delivered by Rupert Gude who explained: “The nation was not unified as portrayed by the newspapers. Sylvia Pankhurst campaigned in the East End of London, Welsh-born Bertrand Russell lectured with biting logic, and Helen Crawfurd, a supporter of the poor in Glasgow, spoke out." He added: “The lecture will also address creative forms of opposition eg by the poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon and the painter Paul Nash.”


With ease of access at Y Morlan, Aberystwyth, all are invited to the lecture followed by discussion and refreshments. Head of Wales for Peace, Craig Owen, said: “As with the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria today, there were very divergent opinions on the UK’s role and approach to the First World War that are in themselves a ‘hidden history’ - largely unknown to most people today. Especially in Wales, with a tradition of religious non-conformity and a cultural identity less rooted in empire, significant voices and movements campaigned tirelessly to challenge the bloodshed of WW1. Rupert Gude’s lecture will help us explore Wales’ contribution to WW1 peace campaigning in the wider UK context.


Craig Owen added: “In the years that followed the horrors of war, many peace heroes shunned in 1914-18 became inspirational leaders for a Welsh society devastated by loss. Conscientious Objectors were elected as Members of Parliament; the Urdd was set up in 1922 as a youth movement for peace; in 1923, 390,296 women signed a petition to America calling for formation of the League of Nations; and in 1926 thousands of women undertook the North Wales Peace Pilgrimage from Caernarfon to London. These peace histories can inspire a new generation of internationalists today.” 

 Petition from women of Wales 1924

Remembering for Peace Exhibition and Lectures
This is the last of three lectures to coincide with the Wales for Peace’s Remembering for Peace Exhibition at the National Library of Wales until 16th of April. Rupert Gude’s lecture will be in English and complements the The Road to Peace’ exhibition at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Further information is available on www.walesforpeace.org.

All are welcome on the day, yet advance registration will be helpful to provide refreshments.

Wales for Peace is a four-year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by 10 organisational partners including Aberystwyth and Cardiff universities, the National Library for Wales and movements such as the Urdd and Cymdeithas y Cymod. The project’s core question is: in the hundred years since the First World War, how has Wales contributed to the search for peace? Wales for Peace is a heritage project working with communities across Wales; it is also forward-looking in stimulating debate around issues of peace for the benefit of future generations.



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