Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by CL1, Feb 26, 2014.
Conscientious Objectors' Commemorative Stone,Tavistock Square,London
The preferred description is Conscientious Objectors' Commemorative Stone, the point being that it relates to "men and women conscientious objectors all over the world and in every age" including the present, not simply those long past. It was unveiled on 15 May 1994 by the late Sir Michael Tippett, composer, imprisoned as a CO during WW2.
A ceremony is held at 12.00 noon every 15 May, International Conscientious Objectors' Day. This year's ceremony, on 15 May 2014, will have a particular focus on WW1, with relatives of WW1 COs laying flowers.
Thank you for the post and description.
I was totally ignorant of this Memorial.
I know it well. It is on one of my favourite walks from Kings Cross to the British Museum going through all those wonderful Victorian squares. It is just round the corner from Friends House (HQ of British Quakers) with nice garden and a tea with cakes. Any connection?
Formal legislation to exempt objectors from fighting was first granted in mid-18th century Britain following problems with attempting to force Quakers into military service
good day cl1.m.yesterday.05:45pm.re:conscientious objecters' commemorative stone.they have a commemorative day.its all new to me.did they get a medal!!! regards bernard85.
There was no direct connection between the location of the Stone and the proximity of Friends' House, but the latter was a factor borne in mind. Once the decision in principle was made in 1993 to raise money for the erection of the Stone, a suitable site was the next consideration. The main advantage of Tavistock Square was that it was already unofficially a peace park or garden, in that the Gandhi statue and the Hiroshima cherry tree were long established, with their regular annual commemorations. Tavistock Square is also conveniently located for travellers from different parts, with Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross stations all within walking distance, as well several nearby tube stations and plenty of buses. Since then St Pancras International has made it convenient for European visitors. Finally, the square has room for a sizeable gathering, without concern about blocking pedestrian or traffic rights of way.
So, the neighbourhood of Friends' House, a major support centre for COs during WW2, as was its predecessor, Devonshire House, during WW1, was an added bonus. And, as it happened, after the unveiling ceremony in 1994, Friends were the first to hold an event at the Stone, when in 1995 a group from London Yearly Meeting (the equivalent of an Annual General Meeting for the Society of Friends) walked from Friends' House and formed a circle round the Stone for a short silent meeting, in the manner of Friends.
Thank you very much Drayton. A very interesting and informative answer. I have several friends who are Friends, including one who was with the Friends Ambulance Unit. The story of the FAU is a fascinating one. Their activities were widespread in WWII but are seldom mentioned.
Besides the annual ceremony at the Conscientious Objectors' Commemorative Stone on International Conscientious Objectors' Day, 15 May, a further tradition has been established of laying wreaths of white poppies each Remembrance Sunday. These wreaths were laid on 11 November 2018.
Thanks for the photographs.
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