Friday, 6 November 2015

The Origins of Archibald Baxter’s Pacifism - part one

Over the past couple of months I have been working on an article provisionally titled 'The Origins of Archibald Baxter's Pacifism'. It's going to cover the period between the Boer war (1899 - 1902) and 1916 (conscription), with a focus on the young Archibald Baxter and the Otago region. There will be three main sections:

  • 1899 - 1902: Alfred Richard Barclay and the Boer war
  • Keir Hardie's visit to New Zealand in 1908
  • Compulsory Military Training and the Passive Resister's Union (1912) 

I’m hoping to have this article up to a publishable standard by early next year, but until then here is a draft version of the first part on A R Barclay and the Boer war. This is just a blog, so I can theoretically say anything I want, but with this sort of thing I strive for factual accuracy. If anyone reading this can spot a mistake, or would like to make any comment at all, please leave a comment or email me.       

The Origins of Archibald Baxter’s Pacifism

PART ONE: Alfred Richard Barclay and the Boer war

Archibald Baxter’s We Will Not Cease is rightly famous as an incredibly powerful pacifist statement. Of the fourteen conscientious objectors who were forced on board the troopship Waitemata in 1917 and taken to the trenches, Baxter is the only one who wrote a memoir. Out of the thousands of New Zealanders who resisted the pressures of the hegemonic pro – war forces in the years between 1914 and 1918, Baxter was one of a small handful who actually experienced the horrors and brutality of the trenches in Europe.