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Peace Education Project

Date Published: 25 June 2012

Woodbrooke to commemorate World War One with Peace Education Project

The 100th anniversary of the First World War will be commemorated from 2014-2018 and many local museums, cultural and heritage organisations are already making plans. It is important that, alongside tales of battles and soldiers, people are also able to hear the stories of peace – the anti-conscription work that was based in Birmingham; the forming and training of the Friends Ambulance Unit and the stories of the individuals who served in the FAU; the struggles of conscience which challenged so many Quaker young men and sometimes split families and Meetings as some chose conscientious objection while others joined up; the way in which the war affected Cadburys and other Quaker businesses; and the work of the Friends Emergency and War Victims Relief Committee both during and after the war.

A recent grant from Pamela Williams's legacy to Central England Area Meeting for 'Quaker peace education' has been allocated to a Midlands World War I Quaker commemoration project. The grant will enable a part-time worker, based at Woodbrooke, to coordinate local Quaker activities in relation to the anniversary and to make sure that the activities planned and carried out by local Quakers fit together in a coherent way. Working on behalf of Woodbrooke, the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies and the Area Meeting, with particular support and input from the Area Meeting Peace Committee, Betty Hagglund will carry out research, will develop networks of interested Quakers and others and will collaborate and develop partnerships with a variety of non-Quaker organisations. They will promote the Quaker and peace story in the local press and radio; will liaise with the group at Friends' House who are working on the anniversary; will help to organise courses and events; and will help to prepare exhibitions, materials for use in schools and other resources. There are plans for a course in the 2013 Woodbrooke programme which will help Friends from meetings across the country to make plans for their own ways of responding to the challenges and opportunities that the commemoration will bring.


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