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michaeldr

The Church Militant

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yperman

Fascinating - I had never thought of the prisons as training centres for socialists before, but I suppose that is what in practice they were.

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Frank_East

A very interesting article reflecting the thoughts of a member of one of the leading political families of the era.

 

Not that the view had changed much in the way that some RAF LMFs were treated,being sent to the Aircrew Disciplinary Centre at Sheffield during the Second World War

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Magnumbellum

Bishop Cecil demonstrated his ignorance of his own diocese by not recognising that Dartmoor Prison had been closed as a prison and re-opened in March 1917 as Princetown Work Centre under the Home Office Scheme, whereby conscientious objectors could be released from prison to perform civilian work under civilian control. The fact that they were not prisoners is demonstrated in the photo accompanying the article. The COs are wearing ordinary clothes, not the "broad arrow" prison uniform, and are obviously doing the useful farm work which the bishop argued that they should do.

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michaeldr

On reflection, I think that the newspaper article's headline is mistaken; the bishop's wrath was provoked less by the 'conchies' than by those whom he saw as a political threat. 

The noble lord bishop would have let those who were conscientious objectors on religious grounds go free, while reserving his interesting scheme for those he deems to have a political motive, claiming that they were organising against “the existing order of affairs”
The very idea! Tut! Tut!
I've searched Hansard as best I can, but cannot find any contribution by Bishop Cecil to the debates on the Representation of the People Act of 1918, when the franchise was extended to include all men and some women for the first time, thereby adding (despite the wartime cull) some 14,000,000 to the electorate. I feel however, that it is not hard to guess the bishop's views on democracy

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David_Underdown

The Lord Bishop's views would no doubt also have been coloured by the fact that his son (1 of 4) Rupert Edward Gascoyne-Cecil had been killed on 11 July 1915.  Before the war was out two more would also be killed, Randle William Gascoyne-Cecil on 1 December 1917 and John Arthur Gascoyne-Cecil on 27 August 1918.

 

Christ Church Oxford have info on Rupert here http://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/fallen-alumni/lieutenant-rupert-edward-gascoyne-cecil and Our Hatfield at http://www.ourhatfield.org.uk/content/topics/people-2-2/lieutenant-rupert-edward-gascoyne-cecil.  As noted on these he was a keen bellringer and is listed on the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers Roll of Honour (see signature), his father also gave two new treble bells as a memorial at Hatfield after the war (he had been vicar at Hatfield before becoming bishop - family patronage in action).

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Wexflyer

Needless to say, the Church Militant in Ireland took a very different view of the matter, denouncing conscription.

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