The photo is from the National Archives in Wellington. [ AD1 10/407/3] It shows conscientious objectors on the Waitemata troop ship being forcibly dressed in military uniforms.
Fourteen New Zealand Conscientious Objectors were secretly forced onto a ship and sent to France during the First World War. They were treated very harshly as the military authorities made efforts to intimidate the men, wear them down and break their spirit. They continued to resist, even though this made conditions more difficult for them. Non-cooperation was a way for conscientious objectors to continue to protest against war while in military detention.
Non-Cooperation on the boat
- On the ship to England/France the conscientious objectors refused to wear military uniforms.
- They were forced to go up on deck and forcibly dressed.
- They were kept below deck, not seeing daylight.
- Transferred to another ship in Cape Town, they were forced into uniform, their own clothes thrown overboard.
- They still refused to wear the uniform and took the uniform off and wore only underwear.
- Their underwear was forcibly removed and naked they were hosed down in front of jeering soldiers.
- Forced into uniforms again, they took these off when downstairs and wore just loincloths.
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Last modified on Sunday, 22 February 2015 20:56