recruitment in richmond park

A talk by WWI Historian Dr Chris Kempshall

As part of a series of events to coincide with our WWI exhibition, Dr Kempshall will be discussing recruitment and conscientious objection with an audience at the Museum of Richmond on April 1st 2015 at 2pm.


Recruitment in 1914 was not instantaneous. The war began on 4 August but it was not until after the first major battle; Battle of Mons on 23rd August that recruitment soared.

Conscientious Objection

‘Britain was the only major protagonist which recognised conscientious objection as a valid reason to refuse conscription.’ The number of British men who objected to conscription on grounds of their conscience is much smaller than you might think.

16,500 men refused conscription through conscientious objection, a figure that is 0.33% of the total number of men who served in the army. Of this number 1,300 men were imprisoned as a result of their military tribunal. Included in this was pacifist Bertrand Russell who lived at Pembrooke Lodge in Richmond.

Dr Chris Kempshall

Dr Chris Kempshall is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Kent, an Associate Tutor at the University of Sussex, and the Project Officer for First World War Commemorations at East Sussex County Council. He is currently a member of the Academic Advisory Board to the Imperial War Museum, and has recently appeared as an expert on ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ for BBC1.

More Information

  • Tickets - are a recommended £2 donation, please contact the Museum on 0208 332 1141 or email to book your place.
  • Exhibition - ‘1914-1918 Richmond at Home and at War, Local stories and their International Links’ runs at the Museum of Richmond until April 22nd 2015. The Museum of Richmond is open Tue-Fri 11am-5pm and Sat 11-4pm.