Skip to main content

International Day of Peace

This week's blog marks the International Day of Peace 2018 by remembering 
WWI conscientious objector, Alfred Myers (1883-1948)

The United Nations International Day of Peace takes place each year on 21 September to celebrate a peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone. The theme for 2018 is: “The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

Deceased Online is marking the day by honouring one peacemaker that we have discovered in the database - Alfred Myers (1883-1948), a miner and conscientious objector.

Alfred is buried in Brotton Cemetery, North Yorkshire, not far to where he was born and raised. He risked his life for peace and has been remembered in a 1995 documentary film, The Richmond Sixteen.

Above is a cropped image of the Brotton burial register showing Alfred's entry on the second line from the top.

His entry in the Deceased Online database is as follows:

last name 
first names 
burial date 
04 March 1948 
Brotton Cemetery (North Yorkshire) 

Alfred Myers made his stance for peace during the Great War of 1914-1918. As was one of the so-called "Richmond Sixteen", he was an 'absolutist' conscientious objector - refusing to undertake non-combatant duties as well resisting conscription to fight. The 16 were imprisoned at Richmond Castle in Yorkshire, and then sent to France where they were court-martialled and sentenced to death by firing squad. Fortunately, the sentence was altered to 10 years' hard labour. After the war, in 1919, the 16 received their release.

The Richmond Sixteen was a mixed group, consisting of: 

  1. Norman Gaudie (1887–1955), centre-forward of the reserve Sunderland F.C. 
  2. Alfred Matthew Martlew (1894–1917), a clerk at Rowntree's chocolate factory in York 
  3. Herbert (Bert) George Law
  4. and William (Billy) Edwin Law, brothers from Darlington
  5. Alfred Myers (1883-1948), an ironstone miner from Carlin How
  6. John Hubert (Bert) Brocklesby, schoolteacher and Methodist lay preacher, from Conisbrough 
  7. Charles Ernest Cryer, from Cleveland
  8. Robert Armstrong Lown, from Ely
  9. Clifford Cartwright 
  10. John William Routledge 
  11. Ernest Shillito Spencer (1897–1957), a Quaker clerk in a factory 
  12. Clarence Hall (International Bible Student)
  13. and Stafford Hall, brothers (International Bible Student)
  14. Charles Rowland Jackson (International Bible Student)
  15. Leonard Renton (International Bible Student)
  16. Charles Herbert Senior (International Bible Student)
Alfred Myers was a 33 year old mines deputy, single, an International Labour Party members, and a member of his local Wesleyan Methodist church's choir. He was a member of his church's choir, a Sunday school superintendent and a trustee of the local church. He was arrested when he failed to register for military service after being called up in 1916

Sadly, Alfred never recovered from the harsh treatment he had received in prison and from solitary confinement and, like many who had served at the Front, he suffered from post-trauma symptoms for the rest of his life. 

Further reading: 

Do you have any conscientious objectors, or other peace campaigners, in your family? Do get in touch and let us know via the Comments Box below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages!


Popular posts from this blog

London's Spa Fields

Deceased Online has just uploaded around 114,000 burial records from Spa Fields in the modern London borough of Islington Spa Fields today, with the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer in the background Spa Fields Burial Ground became notorious in the 19th century for its overcrowded and insanitary conditions. Located in the parish of St James, Clerkenwell, the grave yard was not far from the ever-increasing City of London. Spa Fields was known also as Clerkenwell Fields and Ducking-pond Fields in the late 18th century, hinting at a dark side to what was then a summer evening resort for north Londoners. What would become a cemetery was a ducking pond in the rural grounds of a Spa Fields public house. It was here in 1683 that six children were drowned while playing on the ice. In his History of Clerkenwell (1865) William J. Pinks wrote that visitors, "came hither to witness the rude sports that were in vogue a century ago, such as duck-hunting, prize-fighting, bull-baiting

Wakefield Collection: Cremation Records now available on Deceased Online

Records for both crematoria in Wakefield, Yorkshire have been added to the Deceased Online database Above: Pontefract Crematorium The two sets of crematoria records have been added to Deceased Online 's Wakefield Collection .  Wakefield district contains nineteen cemeteries and two crematoria. Many of the records go back to the mid and late 19th century when the cemeteries opened, and range across a wide geographical area. The full list of  Wakefield  cemeteries live on Deceased Online,  with opening dates in brackets,   is as follows: 1.  Altofts Cemetery  – Church Road, Altofts, Normanton  (1878)   2.  Alverthorpe Cemetery  – St Paul’s Drive, Alverthorpe, Wakefield  (registers from 1955) 3. Castleford Cemetery  – Headfield Road, Castleford  (1857) 4.  Crigglestone Cemetery  – Standbridge Lane, Crigglestone, Wakefield  (1882) 5. Featherstone Cemetery  – Cutsyke Road, North Featherstone  (1874) 6. Ferrybridge Cemetery  – Pontefract Road, Ferrybridge, P

Churck (Rock) Cemetery, Nottingham

Coming soon to the Deceased Online database: two historic cemeteries from Nottingham City Council to add to the Nottingham Collection . This week, I explore the history of the renowned Church Cemetery (also known as the Rock Cemetery) . At first glance, the modern visitor to Nottingham's Church Cemetery may think they have wandered into Kensal Green , or another of London's Magnificent Seven cemeteries. The 13 acre site abounds with the kind of gothic stone monuments and large sarcophogi with which the mid-Victorians liked to remember their dead. Yet look harder and you will find something unique to Nottingham - sandstone caves. Since the middle ages, the area around Nottingham was quarried for its sandstone, now known by the name of a nearby village as "Bulwell sandstone". From 1851, after the cemetery was laid out on the former sandpits, local people grew to know it simply as "The Rock".  Church Cemetery Otherwise known as the Rock Cemetery on a