The hearing of G William Hodson
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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.
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A clerk named G Wm Hodson, in the Army Pay Office at York, said he was
a socialist and an internationalist. He believed that war was a big game
between the ruling classes of each nation, using the people as pawns.
The Chairman: Is your work in connection with the Army?
G Hodson: Yes it is.
Mr Burton: But it allows you to go about in your own time and go home at
night to sleep and not like those men in the trenches who are watching night
after night for your benefit. You do not mind your present connection with
the Army?
It is a bread and butter question to a certain extent.
There is no man without bread and butter today, if he is ready to work for it.
There is no work today which is not directly or indirectly connected with
the war.
You ask the Tribunal to think that your conscience is so sensitive as to
prevent you from joining the Army?
I will not take life or help in the taking of life.
Application refused.