Wright, Robert, 'Young Conscientious Objector', Military Service Tribunal, 1916
Ormskirk Advertiser Dec 7th 1916
‘Young Conscientious Objector’
Robert Wright, jun (27), married with two children, a bootmaker, of Hesketh Bank, whose application on business grounds was refused at the last meeting of the Tribunal, again appeared in the role of a conscientious objector, he having been given permission to apply again.
Colonel Hopgood, at the outset, objected to the case being heard, as his previous application, conjointly with a brother, had been refused, but he ultimately consented to the application proceeding.
Appellant stated that when he was canvassed twelve months ago he stated that he had a deep objection to fighting. He had been brought up in a Christian home by Christian parents.
Colonel Hopgood: I hope we all have.
Proceeding, appellant said he got his objections when 15 years of age against military service, and had been engaged in Christian work ever since. He did not think it right to fight, but he was willing to do work of national importance. He had about three months work I the year in market gardening, having under an acre of land. He had worked for Nicholas Whiteside, of Dunkirk Farm, Hesketh Bank.
Colonel Hopgood: What about non-combatant service?
Mr Dickinson: Would you object to making roads in France so that our soldiers may be better served at the front?
Appellant: I object to work of a military character.
Mr Dickinson: Would you object to acting as a stretcher bearer to carry to hospital our wounded soldiers?
Appellant repeated that he objected to all military work.
Mr Dickinson: That is the worst of these conscientious objectors – they won’t answer questions. You say you first thought of objecting when you were 15 years of age.
Appellant: I was converted at that age.
Mr Dickinson: What do you mean?
Appellant: I got my religious convictions and was changed spiritually.
The Rev A J Wigley, Primitive Methodist pastor, of Banks stated that he had been in close touch with the appellant for the past 5½ years, and he had not the least hesitation in saying he was sincere and was a most conscientious young man.
The application was refused.
See Robert Wright’s Diary for details of his experiences as a Conscientious Objector in WW1, and his imprisonment in Wormwood Scrubs and Wakefield Prison.