Not in my name: Hackney’s FWW Conscientious Objectors

On Saturday I went to visit a little exhibition at the Hackney Archives on local Conscientious Objectors. There’s been a lot of interest in COs lately; possibly because the politics motivating many of them are coming into fashion.
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Hackney had a history of radical political and much of the population were Jewish refugees from Russia who refused to be allied with the country that has persecuted them. Others were motivated by their Christian belief in the commandant “thou shalt not kill.” As always at these local history exhibits, I found it fascinating to see the streets and buildings I’m familiar with taking an active role in a history I’ve also studied.

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I was especially pleased to see featured one William Knott, who also pops up in my research! Though this placard doesn’t mention his service in Salonika…
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“Not in my name” is running until October at Hackney Archives in Dalston. It’s a great little exhibition to pop to during your lunch break if you work nearby, or it’s open on Saturdays for those with a special interest in Hackney history or Conscientious Objectors.

Art and War in East London

On Saturday I went on a little outing to the Hackney museum (a bite-sized gallery attaching to the library at Hackney central) to check out a free exhibition on Art, Propaganda and the First World War.

The propaganda aspects of the exhibition were fairly standard, but I did spot a few posters I’d never seen before.

What interested me the most was seeing photographs and artifacts about the war in Hackney. I’ve lived in East London nearly the entire time I’ve been in the UK, so seeing these places I know so well is a special way of connecting the past I study with my own past and present. Here’s a picture of the opening of the  war memorial hall in Stoke Newington Library, where I spent many afternoons in the early days of my PhD: 

Flag (above) and badge (below) artifacts from North Londoners

Crowds outside one of the first sites to be hit by Zeppelin raids in London, around the corner from where I used to live.

Allotments in Clissold Park, which I have run through countless times:

I was especially interested by this panel about my favourite East London bakery, Percy Ingles!

The exhibition is on until 28 May with slightly anti-working people hours, but it is open on Saturdays and late on Thursdays. It’s worth a special trip if you’re interested in propaganda or East London and the First World War, or it’s the perfect lunchtime stop if you work near Hackney Central.



First World War Hospital & Troop Ships: exhibition in central London

HQS WellingtonI love working in London! Yesterday during lunchtime I met a friend down at Temple steps for an exhibition on WWI troop ships and hospital ships on the HQS Wellington. It was a really interesting exhibition about life and work on the ships, complete with interesting props, first-hand accounts, and a short film about the role of troop ships and hospital ships during the war.

Troop ships and hospital ships

I particularly enjoyed the atmospheric propaganda and the historical picture of a cat. It’s a perfect lunchtime jaunt (though not really long enough to get your “sea legs” as I found. It’s only open for the next two weeks, so hurry and see it if you can!