Centenary

Posters

We have have these posters printed in 2014. Three are reproductions of posters produced by Northern Friends Peace Board in the post WW1 period, whilst the other is a new design. If you would like to order some get in touch by email or phone or complete and send the order form with payment
£1.50 individual posters, £4 for all 4, including postage.
Or £1.00 / £3.00 without postage.

Click on the links below for a larger image of the posters and for an order form.

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There is another way

Just over a hundred years ago, NFPB’s Secretary, Robert Long, wrote a powerful piece of text two days after Britain declaring war, asking ‘What Shall We Do?’ . We are producing this simple A5 leaflet in 2014 for Friends and others to use. This may be particuarly appropriate over the period of, and events relating to, the centenary of Britain going to war in 1914 (4th August) but also for other occasions.

What Shall We Do?

This is the text of a leaflet published by Northern Friends Peace Board in August 1914 after the outbreak of the First World War.
The initials at the bottom of the text, RJL, are those of Robert Long, the first Secretary of Northern Friends Peace Board
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Our efforts to prevent war have been in vain. The great mass meetings held up to the eleventh hour have failed to change the policy of the Government, entangled as it has been by secret understandings and conversations.

Now is not the time to apportion the blame. One thing however, stands out clearly – this is not a people’s war. It has its origins in the military bureaucracies of the Powers, in the mutual suspicions of diplomatists, in the cynical self aggrandisement of the war lords. The Russian peasant and the German artisan are pawns in the deadly game of their governors. The English business man and labourer alike are suffering because of movements in high quarters upon which they have never been consulted. What then must be our policy at the present moment?

We are driven back to fundamentals. The awfulness and sin of war will soon be brought home to every thinking man in the country. There is an absence of the Mafficking of fifteen years ago. In our Northern cities people are gathering sadly and with comparatively but little sign of war fever to discuss the situation.

There is little indication at the present moment of that contempt and hatred of our adversaries which prevailed at the time of the Boer War. This shows that past efforts have not been altogether fruitless. It is for us to preserve this better spirit, to show men that, whatever the quarrels of the rulers, the peoples of the kindred nations across the North Sea are brothers, with the same aspirations, the same ideals, the same homo ties, the same love for wife and children. I have heard the remark that a group of Germans might converse one with another in the streets of Leeds without molestation. Let us preserve this spirit, and encourage our fellow countrymen by all means in their power to befriend isolated Germans who may be in the unfortunate position of being in an enemy country at the present time.

May it never be said that our peace principles are an excuse for shirking duty. England needs her Quaker sons and daughters at the present hour. Men and women are wanted who will serve in the humdrum services of life no less bravely than the soldiers on the battlefield.

The great war is a great crime – a crime against God and humanity – a crime against our slowly won civilisation. Cannot we step in at the present time and do our share in conserving that civilisation which is threatened with destruction. The war we trust will be short, but if prolonged how great is the danger – the unemployed crowd, hunger and desperation, panic and destruction, crime and misery. We must do our share by organisation and personal effort in preventing such a set back to barbarism. If the worst comes we shall be needed to spend days and nights in works of. help and relief. And there may yet be need for a Quaker corps to carry the message of love and goodwill, to convey hope and material sustenance to the war ravaged districts of Europe, that “England’s love” may win back the affections of those whose fields have been trodden under the heel of our armies or whose homes have been shattered by the guns of our fleet.

Modern wars are sharp and brief, and perhaps a few weeks will witness the beginning of the end. Then will be the time for our constructive, work. We must show how the evil seed sown many years ago has borne its bitter fruit; how the Crimean War produced the Balkan troubles, which in their turn have produced the present, conflict; how 1870 made Alsace Lorraine the danger-spot of Europe, and by producing fortifications on the Franco-German frontier, has led to the attempt to force a passage through Belgium, which in its turn has contributed to Britain’s share in the war.

We must plead for a peace founded upon the basis of absolute justice, a settlement in which the rights or all men are regarded, and by which all nationalities will be entitled and urged lo submit all future disputes to a strong international court. We must urge that never again shall England be involved in efforts to support the balance of power – that England shall be the friend of all nations, that she shall declare her intention of not interfering by arms in the affairs of the Continent of Europe, but shall ever be willing to give of her best brains and advice in acting the part of mediator and helper.

Furthermore we must ensure that never again shall the people of England be plunged into war through our secret understandings.

Meanwhile the weeks that are before us are dark and pregnant with evil foreboding the voice of peace may not be heard in the clash of arms. We may yet be called, however unjustly, pro-Germans and supporters of every country except our own. For the moment, ours is the cause which has gone under, and surely this is the time to test the reality of our faith.

Who’ll wear the beaten colours, and cheer the beaten men.
Who’ll wear the beaten colours till our time comes again.
When sullen crowds are densest and fickle as the sea.
Who’ll wear the beaten colours, and wear them home with me.

Now is the time to stand to our principles. We must at the present moment show that there are men in the country with a burning, living faith who will have no part or lot in the war system because it is a denial of the Christian faith.

The present is not the time to discuss technicalities. We are driven back upon our unshaken Quaker position and this is the only one in these dark hours.

A prominent Leeds clergyman asked for one of our largest “Think” posters and displayed it outside his Church. During the last week or two I have passed and re-passed that poster in Boar Lane and have seen very few people reading it.

On the day of the declaration of war, the case was entirely different. Groups of men and women turned from the Royal Proclamations to read how Christians of an earlier day “no longer took up arms,” and that the present day religion of Europe “is not Christianity but the Worship of the God of War?” On this day our Christian message of peace reached thousands in that one spot alone.

Nineteen hundred years ago the Prince of Peace suffered on the cross forsaken by those who had followed Him in days of popularity. But there were men and women at that time ready and willing to wear the beaten colours and proclaim themselves followers of the “beaten” Man. Can we do less now? R.J.L.

Northern Friends’ Peace Board
Leeds, 6/8/14.

Download this as a PDF

For more information about the history of Northern Friends Peace Board

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WW1 centenary - resources

We will be including on this page links to resources relating to the first world war, particularly from the perspective of Quaker peace concerns and witness

  • There is Another Way. This NFPB leaflet, published in 2014, reflects on current peace concerns whilst making links to the period around the outbreak of war in 1914. This can be printed from the PDF file here, or contact us for paper copies, with a donation towards costs and postage (about £1.00 per 20 leaflets). This is intended for Quakers to use at a range of events during 2014.

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  • NFPB Posters
    We’ve printed four, including three from the period after the first world war and one new one
    NFPB posters

  • Tribunal
    NFPB has access to a nearly complete set of issue of The Tribunal, the journal published by the No Conscription Fellowship between March 1916 and November 1918. We will be publishing occasional extracts from these between March 2016 and November 1918
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  • Conscience and Conviction – WWI school resources
    Conscience and conviction image
    QPSW has produced two new resources for peace education: Conscience (primary school-focused) and Conviction (secondary school-focused). Available to download – print copies available shortly.

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  • Witnessing for peace on the centenary of World War I: a resource pack for Quaker Meetings
    Produced by Quakers in Britain. The centenary of World War I offers Quakers the opportunity to take part in the national conversation and counter any potential glorification of war. The alternative stories we have to tell throw fresh light on the period. We hope Quaker meetings will find this pack helpful for planning outreach activities, engaging in peace education, group learning and reflection on current violent conflicts.
    To order a free hard copy, please email the Quaker Centre or telephone 020 7663 1030, giving your name, postal address and name of your Quaker Meeting.
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  • World War One Christmas Truce Commemorations
    Christmas Truce image
    The Martin Luther King Peace Committee (Newcastle) has prepared separate packs of resources for school teachers and church ministers to mark one of the most remarkable events in the annals of modern warfare: the December 1914 Christmas Truces. Following weeks of fraternization, men right down the Western front from the North Sea to Switzerland laid down their arms to mark Christmas. The Peace Committee has created two different resource packs to help mark the 1914 Christmas truces in the run up to Christmases from 2014 until 2017.

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  • The White Feather Diaries white feather image
    website launched on 4 August 2014. You can follow The White Feather Diaries project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wfdiaries and Twitter @wfdiaries.

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  • NFPB Centenary Resource Pack We produced a pack of materials for our centenary in 2013. Many of these relate to the first world war period, including the text of a leaflet published on 6th August 1914 . They are available to download or on request in printed form from the NFPB office. We have added here a shortened version of the specially written play, ‘A Burning, living faith’ which features the period of the first world war, in which the two main characters make different choices during wartime.

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  • Choices – then and now. A different sort of WW1 resources for schools and colleges .
    choices logo
    Produced by The Peace Museum in Bradford, a cross-curricular approach to teaching about World War I and recent and current conflicts, considering the choices available to and made by people in response to key events and ‘days that changed the world’

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  • The World is My Country
    A visual celebration of the people and movements that opposed the First World War

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  • Out of the Silence The Story of the Conscientious Objectors – Of the millions conscripted in 1916, sixteen thousand claimed the new right to conscientious objection…. Drawing on first-hand accounts, letters, diaries and memoirs, Out of the Silence is a show by Sheffield story-teller Simon Heywood, which brings the voices of the conscientious objectors out of the silence, with original songs from Shonaleigh. Commissioned by the 2014 Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival. To download a touring pack, click here .

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  • Opposing World War One: Courage and Conscience (external link to PDF document)
    An information briefing about conscientious objection and peace activism in the First World War Published 2013 by Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, Peace Pledge Union, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

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  • Conscientious Objection 1914-1918 – educational and informative material produced by the Peace Pledge Union
  • World War I centenary event map British Quakers online tool for gathering and mapping information about Quaker activities in relation to the first world war
  • National Archives – a brief guide to researching records of British conscientious objectors and those exempt from service.
  • Information about Corder Catchpool , early member of Friends Ambulance Unit then absolutist objector during the war.
  • Housmans Bookshop (radical London bookshop) – recommended WW1-related reading
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Walkers' message delivered at Menwith Hill

Statement from Northern Friends Peace Board Walk of Witness
at Menwith Hill, CAAB Independence From America Day, 4th July 2013

We are a group of Quakers from the Northern Friends Peace Board, an organisation dedicated to the ‘active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth.’ This year we are celebrating our centenary.

Over the past five days we have walked the 35 miles from Richmond Castle to Menwith Hill, linking two significant sites of peace witness which span our hundred years.

From past to present - walking for peace

at the start of the walk

On 30th June, nearly 70 people gathered in the grounds of Richmond Castle for a Meeting for Worship. Sixteen of these were members of a group walking over the following 5 days to Menwith Hill, also in Yorkshire, marking the centenary of Northern Friends Peace Board. Others at Richmond that day came from Quaker Meetings over a wide area of the North.

Walking the Walk - detailed itinerary

from Richmond Castle to Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire

30th June to 4th July

Sunday 30th June

11.00am Gather at Richmond Castle (grid ref NZ 172 007)
11.00 am – 12 noon Visit the museum which features the COs’ prison cells.
12.30pm – 1.00pm Meeting for Worship in the open-air in the castle grounds.
1.10 pm – 2.00 pm Lunch
2.30 pm Meet at lay-by on Range Rd near Catterick golf club, southwest area of Catterick Garrison, near Alma Barracks (grid ref SE 167 968) Walk through Catterick Garrison training ground to Constable Burton(grid ref 167 909)

Monday 1st July

10.30am Meet at Constable Burton village green (grid ref SE 167 909)
Walk to Jervaulx Abbeycar park (grid ref SE 168 856)

Tuesday 2nd July

10.30am Meet at junction Newstead Lane and A6108, near Jervaulx Abbey car park (grid ref SE 170 853) Walk to junction of Ripon Rowel Walk and Kirby Moor Rd, approx 3 miles west of Kirkby Malzeard (grid ref SE 203 736)

Wednesday 3rd July

10.30am Meet at junction of Ripon Rowel Walk and Kirby Moor Road, 3 miles west of Kirkby Malzeard (grid ref SE 203 736) Walk to Brimham Rocks car park (SE 208 646)

Thursday 4th July

10.30am Meet at Brimham Rocks car park (grid ref SE 208 646) and walk to main gate of ‘RAF’ Menwith Hill Station on Menwith Hill Road (grid ref SE 202 578)
Join CAAB event ‘Independence From America Day’.

Walking the Walk

This weekend on 30th June Friends will gather at Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire for a Meeting for Worship, and to mark the start of our centenary Walk of Witness, Walking the Walk. The walk will link two sites that reflect the continuity of active concern and witness expressed throughout our history, from the imprisonment of conscientious objectors to the military infrastructure and policies that shape the UK’s relationship with the rest of the world today.

Origins

Centenary Conference - report

‘In marking the centenary of the Northern Friends Peace Board we wanted to use the inspiration of the past to take us on into the future of peace-making.’ With these words Jenny Hartland welcomed the 85 Friends who had gathered for the day in York Friargate Meeting House to mark the founding of the Board in 1913.

The Peace and Anti-War Movement on the eve of the first world war - lessons for today 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013 to Saturday, September 21, 2013

8th National Peace History conference, in Manchester . This year’s Conference focuses on the years just prior to WW1 and the lessons for today. – info via http://www.abolishwar.org.uk/events.php?p=4 and flyer/booking form from: http://www.abolishwar.org.uk/userfiles/file/EventFlyers/Conference_Flyer...

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