‘Honouring Haringey’s First World War Conscientious Objectors’ (!)

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’15th May is International Conscientious Objectors’ Day.

At 6pm on 15 May 2019, a plaque in honour of Haringey’s 350 Conscientious Objectors is being unveiled outside the Salisbury Hotel, Green Lanes, N4 1JX. On this very spot anti-war meetings took place in World War One. All are welcome at this event.

This week you will also find a special poster in 190 streets across Haringey – every street where a CO lived 100 years ago.

This brings to a close a centenary project by Haringey First World War Peace Forum, supported by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

A local walk booklet telling the CO story is available from libraries. Ask us if you’d like a copy, or email us: HFWWPF@yahoo.com’.


‘…Exemption under the Military Service Act meant applying to a local Tribunal where each man’s case would be heard and his fate decided. Each of the Municipal Boroughs now making up Haringey had its own Military Service Tribunal. The Hornsey Tribunal covered the west of the Borough and met in the Town Offices on Southwood Lane in Highgate. The Wood Green tribunal convened in the Town Hall (today’s Woodside House) whilst the Tottenham Tribunals were overseen at Tottenham Town Hall at Tottenham Green…’


‘…Of over 350 men who applied for to tribunals as CO’s, most came from Tottenham (162) and Hornsey (141) with the rest (around 50) from Wood Green. A very small number of the men who applied for absolute exemption were successful. The most common verdict was ‘Exemption from Combatant Service Only’, a compromise decision that meant enlistment in the army’s Non-Combatant Corps in support of front-line soldiers. Less common was being sent to do ‘Work of National Importance’ such as horticulture or farming. least common was work with the Friends Ambulance Unit or Royal Army Medical Corps. Men who accepted these verdicts were known as ‘Alternativists’ because they accepted work as an alternative to being a fighting soldier…’

Please see also,


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