We have researched who objected to conscription and refused to fight in the First World War. We came up with a number of key ideas when researching our topic about what type of people refused to fight during the First World War.
Conscription, which is the compulsory enlistment of people in the military forces, was not popular with all New Zealand people.
In 1915, 78 000 men stated that they were not willing to volunteer in New Zealand. Campaigns only managed to enlist 30% of those eligible for military service.
It was not possible for many Christian Pacifists to be exempted from military service
The 1916 Military Service Act added a clause allowing genuine religious objectors to refuse conscription. Only the Quakers, Christadelphians and Seventh-day Adventists had said that military service was contrary to “divine revelation”
Socialists were an important group of objectors to conscription
The Labour Party strongly opposed conscription. They saw war as a way for the rich to become wealthier and believed that opposing conscription was fighting against “militarism and capitalism”.