• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

Conscientious objectors

#1
Watching "Raid on Rommel" last night.One of the characters declared that as he was a Quaker,a conscientous objector and a "medic who had not joined up to kill people" (or similar dialogue)
If he was really a c.o. would he have actually been sent to North Africa?
 
#2
Watching "Raid on Rommel" last night.One of the characters declared that as he was a Quaker,a conscientous objector and a "medic who had not joined up to kill people" (or similar dialogue)
If he was really a c.o. would he have actually been sent to North Africa?

Not sure what forces you were referring to but the US sent C.O.'s overseas as medics during WW II. I know a relative of the former wife was sent as a C.O. medic to both North Africa and Italy. I know they also had unarmed C.O. medics in US Army in Vietnam. I recall talking about this with the father of a friend when he was between his Colonel tour and 2* tour in Vietnam and he had huge respect for the C.O. medics and how he had recommended a couple for medals for bravery under fire going to get woulded soldiers.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#5
Quakers werent all CO's. The UK version of the Quaker is different to the Pennsylvanian version and African etc. Remember that being a Quaker isnt about organised religeon or places of worship, its also about serving humanity to the best of your ability. If that ability is in first aid, bomb disposal or demolitions then there is nothing apart from your conscience and the 5 (Ithink) testimonies shared to stop you doing otherwise. In fact many of the quieter thoughtful professional soldiers who swerved church parade but would always help you out could be quakers.
Dont worry I'm no Judean Peoples Front converter but I listened in to some potential rupert questioning a couple of ladies at a Railway station.
He did look rather confused when I offered that the Fabian Society was the militant political wing of Quakers.
Apart from a puritanical zeal to ban alcohol there is much to be commended for the works of the early Quakers, at least after they got their conscience and freed their slaves anyway!
 
#6
CO's took many non-combatant roles in WW2, from RAF groundcrew to RPC to medics, bomb disposal etc. In fact any trade that did not involve being armed. Generally COs were treated far better in WW2 than they were in WW1.
 
#7
CO's took many non-combatant roles in WW2, from RAF groundcrew to RPC to medics, bomb disposal etc. In fact any trade that did not involve being armed. Generally COs were treated far better in WW2 than they were in WW1.
I think you've got it there, I have previously heard the term "non-combatant CO". Usual perception of a CO is someone who refuses to do anything military.
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
A large number of Quakers and similar volunteered before conscription was introduced and served in many roles but a very high percentage were stretcher bearers and medics. There were some instances where they were initially badly treated as "Conshies" but in general when it became clear that they would serve but in non-combatant roles attitudes changed.

Peace - Conservative Friend

Read the aboive link, it is from one group of Quakers but explains much.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#10
One of the Tennets of Quakers is that all belief is personal, you dont have to share it but they do tend to share so many common threads that they will congregate at meeting houses etc. You may find Quakers happy to bear arms and others who wouldnt serve in any capacity whatsoever!
Thats why they are so difficult to deal with on a discipline basis with conscription.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#12
From CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION

"Of the COs who took up non-combatant duties, 6,766 ended up in the Non-Combatant Corps (NCC). This was set up in August 1940. It was divided into 14 companies mostly commanded by army veterans or reservists; 465 of these COs volunteered to specialise in bomb disposal. Others worked in army-run medical units or on other projects 'not involving the handling of military material of an aggressive nature'.
 
#13
Watching "Raid on Rommel" last night.One of the characters declared that as he was a Quaker,a conscientous objector and a "medic who had not joined up to kill people" (or similar dialogue)
If he was really a c.o. would he have actually been sent to North Africa?
In WW I Arnold Ridley served on the Somme.

He didn't join to kill people but got into a nasty bayonet fight on at least one occasion.
 
#15
In WW I Arnold Ridley served on the Somme.

He didn't join to kill people but got into a nasty bayonet fight on at least one occasion.
Is that the same Arnold Ridley who played Godfrey in Dad's Army? In one episode it came out that Godfrey was a CO but then it was revealed that he had won an MC or MM can't remember which as a a medic
 
#16
In the show Godfrey (Arnold Ridley) was a CO but in real life Ridley joined the Somerset Light Infantry and saw active service. During the battle of the Somme he received serious injuries which eventually led to his MD.

He rejoined the Army as a Major for WW2 and saw active service with the BEF before again being MD'd. He then joined the Home Guard.

Lets not confuse Arnold Ridley with his Dads Army character Godfrey

(In the show Godfrey had been awarded the MM)




Q.
 
#17
In the show Godfrey (Arnold Ridley) was a CO but in real life Ridley joined the Somerset Light Infantry and saw active service. During the battle of the Somme he received serious injuries which eventually led to his MD.

He rejoined the Army as a Major for WW2 and saw active service with the BEF before again being MD'd. He then joined the Home Guard.

Lets not confuse Arnold Ridley with his Dads Army character Godfrey

(In the show Godfrey had been awarded the MM)




Q.
Just about to say the same thing.

Arnold Ridley volunteered for service before conscription, but was refused due to injury. He volunteered again, in 1915 nd was accepted.

He was apparently a bit of a legend, and was injured in fierce hand to hand fighting.

In WW2 he rejoined as a Major (discharged in WW1 as a LCpl) and was in the WW2 equivalent of Media Ops.
 
#18
I've got a book somewhere in my cupboards written by a Para Regt Falklands veteran who was a Jehoevah's Witness. Found that to be a bit unusual. He wasn't a conchie either, just as warry as the next Para. Can't remember the name it or the author at the moment, though.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
Not sure what forces you were referring to but the US sent C.O.'s overseas as medics during WW II. I know a relative of the former wife was sent as a C.O. medic to both North Africa and Italy. I know they also had unarmed C.O. medics in US Army in Vietnam. I recall talking about this with the father of a friend when he was between his Colonel tour and 2* tour in Vietnam and he had huge respect for the C.O. medics and how he had recommended a couple for medals for bravery under fire going to get woulded soldiers.
I've known blokes who fell in both categories. Those opposed to all forms of military service, such as actor Richard Dreyfuss and musician Paul Revere (of the Raiders) were classified by the Selective Service as 1-O; whilst those opposed to bearing arms were classified as 1-A-O and invariably assigned as medics in the US Army's MSC. Spec4.Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr. won the Medal of Honor posthumously (as well as the Silver Star and Bronze Star medals), as did Cpl Thomas W. Bennett. I think there was a MoH CO in WW2 as well.

Not all 1-A-Os ended up as combat medics. Many worked as medical orderlies in aid stations or hospitals, both overseas and in CONUS, including at Walter Reed. A good description of a CO medic's duty in Viet Nam can be found in Gar Kulik's book, "WAR STORIES: False Atrocity Tales, Swift Boaters, and Winter Soldiers-What Really Happened in Vietnam". Whilst the book is mostly concerned with debunking many of the myths and received wisdoms of the American war in Indo-China (his skewering of Lynda Van Devanter's "Home Before Morning" is particularly good), it does start off with a bit of an auto-biography about his time as a medic with the 61st Med Bn in Qui Nhon.
 

Latest Threads

New Posts