Remembering the Conscientious Objectors held in Walton Prison.
Merseyside Peace Network held an event outside of Walton Prison on March 2nd 2016 in order to mark the date conscription was first introduced in Britain during 1916, and to honour all the Conscientious Objectors which were incarcerated in the prison.
A second event was held on November 11th 2018 to mark the end of World War One, and remember them once more.
The Merseyside peace Network was planning to revisit Walton prison on September 18th, both to remember the Conscientious Objectors who were incarcerated in the prison, and all those who died in it during the Merseyside Blitz.
Now due to the need to social distance because of the corona virus, this event has been cancelled.
The prison was hit by bombs on three separate occasions
– On the night of September 18th / 19th 1940.
A bomb hit K Wing. Twenty Two of the inmates were killed.
– On the night of April 26th / 27th 1941
A bomb damaged both the Chapel and Gym.
– On the night of May7th / 8th 1941 a bomb hit E block.
Two Conscientious Objectors were killed.*
Desmond Ernest Bray, from Alvechurch, Warwickshire, a worker for Birmingham PPU.
Kenneth Coney, described as “young”, from Coulsdon, Surrey.
‘They were booth allocated noncombatant service by their respective CO Tribunals, and both accepted medical examination, inevitably leading to call-up to the Non-Combatant Corps. They were sent to Dingle Vale Barracks, a makeshift conversion of Dingle Vale Schools, on the outskirts of Liverpool. There they refused orders, leading to courts-martial and imprisonment.
– Desmond Bray was serving his second sentence, 6 months
– Kenneth Coney was serving his third sentence, not known, but would likely have been at least 6 months.
The effect of the bombing was to completely destroy their bodies, so they could not be buried. Because of that, they are formally commemorated on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission Memorial, naming hundreds of soldiers not able to be given graves, erected at Brookwood, Surrey.’
CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WHO SERVED SENTENCES IN WALTON PRISON, LIVERPOOL
World War One
Maurice H ANDREWS
Percy Reginald BAINTON
Charles Reuben BICKNELL
Archibald Fenner BROCKWAY
William Edward BURNS, died in Strangeways Prison, Manchester
Arthur BUTLER, died in Preston Prison
George Henry DARDIS
Thomas Harold DAVIES
Thomas Stephen EDMONDS
Russell Benjamin EVERETT
Henry Charles FISHER
Arthur Leslie GWILLIAM
John Franklin HEELEY
John William HILL
Herbert Duncan HOBART
Joseph Clifford HUGHES
Harold Marshall HURST
Willie Golder JERMY
Edward Jones MASON
Percy John MORRIS
Douglas James Jesse OWEN
William Oscar PARSLEY
Henry George PHILLIPS
Frederick P PIMLOTT
William Anderson RAMSAY
Baden Powell REINGE
Reginald V RICHMOND
Harry Walton ROPER
Wilfred Herbert SANDERS
Frederick William SCOTT
Eric Pritchard SOUTHALL
George Arthur SUTHERLAND
Norman William THIRTLE
Joseph Hall TODD
Westgarth WHINNERAH, died, Princetown Work Centre, Dartmoor
World War Two
Desmond BRAY, killed in Walton Prison by air raid
Kenneth CONEY, killed in Walton Prison by air aid
S K COOK
H A DOUST
Joseph Charles Stuart ELLIOTT
Alfred Owen Hughes JARMAN
Reginald Settle JOHNSON
Post – World War Two
- With thanks to Bill Hetherington at the Peace Pledge Union for this information.
Echoes of the Merseyside Blitz
Published by Pen & Sword History
Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
ISBN 978 1 52670 258 6