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A matter of conscience: Quakers and conscription

Quakers and pacifism

Quakers have a long history of pacifism and resistance to military action. One of their greatest challenges came with the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

Many Quakers resisted the call to arms, volunteering instead for alternative service such as providing medical assistance. However, the introduction of the Military Service Act in 1916 forced men to enlist or resist. This stark choice would divide families and the country at large.

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