Ok so first of all, to explain the title: It's been over 3 weeks since I finally figured out what I'd like the topic for my project to be about but I never got around to posting about it because it was a double up as one of my history assessments. So forgive me, but I had to focus on that. BUT my untimely array of school obligations did not end there. Oh no it did not “=_= because following that, I had to prepare for preliminary exams which is this week, AKA just a stepping stone away from getting on the plane. What a time to be alive. So yes, the timing of everything could not be more awkward and I feel like I have been spun too many times for a game of Marco Polo all the while, trying not to drown. But alas! Being resilient is my motto this year and that is exactly what I'm going to do. People, hear me now, I will persevere and deliver this blog post to you no matter what the circumstances; day or night, rain or shine.
Anyways, tangent over and done with, I can get straight to the stuff that matters: I will be exploring the social impacts and consequences the NZ conscientious objectors and pacifists faced during and after WW1. Many of these impacts were brought up after the passing of the Military Service Act of 1916, where suddenly any NZ man who signed up to fight was no longer a volunteer. He was merely doing his duty to fight for King and Country.
This topic was suggested to me by my history teacher in early August. Over the past couple of months, the Auckland War Memorial Museum had been exploring the topic since it has been 100 years since the Military Service Act has passed. It was the first significant passing act for conscription of more New Zealand men in the army. It was a topic of conversation that was once again relevant, but it was not the sole reason why I took a keen interest on the topic. As we looked over some of the history books he had on the topic, I was hooked in after only a few skims over paragraphs and a couple page flips. What I had read and saw was the long term and short term social impacts that affected anyone who did not wear a uniform. And what I found most interesting was the controversies and social discussions as such during WW1 in NZ. I found this most intriguing because I really want to get a feel of what was going through the minds of the people, on and off the battlefield, and I feel that this topic seems like the perfect gateway into it.
It is likely that you have heard of all the underage volunteers and ones that have nothing to lose, joining the army, but no one really considers what happens when all the volunteers are already off at war and another calling for men is demanded.
Well I will tell you now: conscription laws were introduced during August 1916 (just a month before the Battle of Somme) and along with the passing of the law, came unprecedented social issues.
My journey and personal understanding on the topic continues on my next blog so stay tuned!!