Angry wounded soldier wants to ‘ship the lot out to Flanders’
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From the beginning of the war, men serving at the front had written to the Shipley Times & Express con- demning ‘shirkers’ who had not volunteered Bombadier Ralph Grimshaw, who was in hospital in Leicester after being wounded serving with the Royal Field Artillery, felt even more strongly about Conscientious Objectors. Sir – Reading your paper weekly, I have lately been interested in the various local Tribunals and would like to say through your paper, I am much amused by the way these con- scientious lambs take care of their skins or fleeces. Personally, I would think the best thing to do would be to ship the lot out to Flanders, place them on the bit of land known as “No Man’s Land” but to us who go there, without a conscience, “Dead Man’s Land,”
there to be ticketed “We don’t want to fight for England and Home.” It makes one wonder who would open fire first, the Germans or our lads. I don’t think Tommy would mind helping Fritz for once. We would not mind at Leicester. Really though, the part that takes my eye is how these things would act were they to see a chap wounded and in difficulty. “Yes, they might help him.” Hot place For myself I would see them in a hot place before they even touched me with a finger and I think I speak for all the wounded. We would sooner lie in a gutter than that they should tax their conscience to such an extent I do not think it is much use to point out to these things of goodness that we soldiers have a conscience. But it is of a different kind, thank God;
not the kind that would stand by and see women violated, children murdered, nay butchered by devils and not men. I expect these conscientious object- ors who are really afraid of cold steel and lead would stand by to see perhaps their mother, sister or wives hacked to pieces by some d______ Hun. These lambs expect going to Heaven but I don’t doubt they will find a place alongside old Billy and his baby killers, whom no doubt they are indirectly helping in this most terrible war. I might just add I would not mind wiping the lot out with a machine gun. So much for my conscience which will one day be weighed alongside these things called “con- scientious objectors” who can never more call themselves British without a blush for shame or a casting down of the eyes.
Shipley Times  & Express
31 March 1916
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