8 Mar 2019 - 26 Jan 2020
Price is included in Edinburgh Castle admission
This exhibition at the National War Museum will explore the little-known story of British conscientious objectors of the Second World War through paintings, poems, letters, music and speeches.
The reintroduction of conscription meant that British citizens were expected to contribute directly to the war effort. To gain exemptions from conscription on the grounds of conscience, individuals were required to appear before a tribunal and produce evidence about their honesty and commitment to their principles.
During the Second World War, over 60,000 men and women chose not to fight for religious, political or moral reasons.
Following the stories of conscientious objectors including Scottish author, Fred Urquhart, and poet, Edwin Morgan, the exhibition examines the application process, the reasons people had for opposing conscription, and what happened to them as a result.
If successful in their application, conscientious objectors could be exempted from national service altogether, or more commonly assigned to other non-combatant roles such as bomb disposal, hospital work or agricultural labour. Some of those whose applications were unsuccessful were ultimately imprisoned.
An adapted courtesy vehicle is available at the Castle's admissions kiosk to take visitors with mobility difficulties, including wheelchair users, to the Museum and other parts of the Castle.
The Museum itself has a level entrance and wheelchairs are available for loan at no charge. There is a public lift between the two floors and seating is available throughout. Adapted toilets are also available. Click here to find out more.