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H.O. Camps. News Sheet. Issues No. 12 to 16.
Prince Town or Princetown, Dartmoor, Devon, England: Central News Bureau, 1917. First Edition. Paper. Very Good. A scarce newsletter put out by British conscientious objectors to the First World War. The only print copy we could find of these is at the British Library, and in a non-print format, at the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, according to OCLC First Search. While we have only five issues out of supposedly 17 that were issued, the first four issues are known not to have been printed, and the final issue, No. 17, was confiscated, and so effectively we have here a continuous run of the latter half of the publication, and surely enough issues to provide a good sense of the publication. The publication sheds light on an overlooked or downplayed part of the war's domestic front, and it cast lights on events pertaining to conscientious objectors during the course of its run, obviously reporting those events from the objectors' point-of-view. Because the objectors were scorned, coerced, castigated and stigmatized in a manner that has not been repeated in more recent wars, the news sheet makes for some poignant, at times, depressing reading. Not only were the conscientious objectors attacked and harassed by the government, which in theory had made accommodations for C.O.s, but also by the public, and it would appear that far from receiving protection from the government, they were blamed for their own victimization, with such surely fabricated charges that they incited the crowd by jeering at wounded soldiers. The articles variously detail the pleadings (sometimes in court) on behalf of the objectors; the persecution they were subjected to, both by the state and by the public acting on its own; and the generally sorry state of the camps where C.O.s were put to work by the state doing such things as cutting timber, road building and other infrastructure projects, gardening, weaving, and so forth. In one instance chronicled, the malfeasance in the camp contributed to the death of a man. There was a camp in Dartmoor, close to where the News Sheet was published, but also news was gathered from other camps. Issues addressed also include ones that might not occur to us at a remove, such as the use of some objectors as essentially foremen to regulate the work of other objectors, something the author decries as xxxxxx. Clearly, the purpose of the publication was to lift the spirits of objectors and to facilitate some solidarity among them in the face of widespread societal antipathy. The articles could be highly polemical, such as one likening the government board created to employ conscientious objectors to the Star Chamber and Inquisition. Not all the pieces were hard news or polemics. There could be anti-war poems, more literary reflections on warfare in human society, and the like. All but one issue include a page of illustration, most of which have an element of caricature and even humor. Each of the issues is 4to in size, or 25 by 19 cm, and eight pages.
      [Bookseller: White Fox Rare Books and Antiques]
Last Found On: 2016-10-07           Check availability:      Biblio    


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