On 24 March 1916, the Shipley Times & Express published a report of the Shipley Military Tribunal which included consider-ing the appeals of a number of Conscientious Objectors.The members of the tribunal were Cllr Thomas Hill (chairman), Cllrs C E Learyod, F F Rhodes, T F Doyle, Mr Ernest Illingworth and Mr J A Burton (representing the military authority).“There were 32 cases to be dealt with and of these 22 were conscientious objectors. A large number of the public attended and the accommodation of the room in which the Tribunal was held was taxed to its utmost.”The reports appear to have largely carried a verbatim note of what was said on both sides.
Lawrence Daker, woolsorter in the employment of Messrs C.F. Taylor & Co., appeared. He had been conscientiously opposed to war two or three years and this was a time when he had to make his views public.Mr Burton: Do you not think it is bad for your reputation to bring them forward among young men of your own age? Lawrence Daker: I am proud of my conscientious objections.Regardless of what other people think about them? Yes.Cllr Rhodes: You only found your conscience when the war started though, did you? That was the only time it was necessary to mention them.Mr Burton: But where does your objection
end? Does it end behind a rifle, a gun, or what? I refuse to accept military training at any price. I shall not fight at all.Will you accept non-combatant service? No.There is too much work in that I suppose. It is against my mind. As soon as my conscience tells me it is time to go and fight, I shall go.Your conscience tells you what you should not do. Does it never prompt you to do what you should do? Can you prove to me what conscience is?I want you to go and think it out what conscience is.Application refused.