Conservatoires in time of war
5th June 1918 (Frank Merrick)
Frank complains about the harsh sentences given to Conscientious Objectors in comparison to sentence given to Dr Jameson for the famously botched raid in 1895, which was one of the main causes of the Boer War (1899-1902).
Credit: University of Bristol Library, Special Collections (DM2103)
By then I shall have “done a year” which reminds me of the frequent thought that Dr. Jameson, for such an extra-ordinary and defiant breach of international law as the invasion with an armed force of a country with whom England was at peace, received “one-year-without-hard-labour-and-have-done-with-it”, while I and hundreds of others get “two-years-with-hard-labour-and-then-begin-all-over-again” for merely proving the sincerity of statements which entitle us to absolute exemption according to a law (however wicked that law may be) which was drafted to include special provision to cover our case. Well! Well! Well!