Petitions (Closed) - Edinburgh Conscientious Objectors Memorial Petition

Petition details With respect to the life and death choices of all those who have taken part in or supported wars we the undersigned therefore call upon the City of Edinburgh Council to grant the use of a permanent public space within the precincts of Princes St Gardens and to provide material and financial support for a memorial to Conscientious Objectors and those who oppose wars. We ask that this be facilitated by February 2016 to coincide with the centenary of the passage of the Military Service Act which led to conscription in 1916.

With the Centenary of the First World War there is a feeling that there should be a memorial in Scotland’s capital city to conscientious objectors and opponents of wars which would henceforth provide a public focus for those who wish to gather to remember all those, past or present, refusing to participate in or opposing wars.

Taking this stance meant considerable hardship for those who refused to participate in or support the First World War and their families, that over 300 British “Deserters” were shot, and Conscientious Objectors were subjected to harsh treatment by the military, in prison, and in their communities and 73 First World War conscientious objectors died in or following imprisonment; their courageous stance cleared the way for improved recognition of the right to oppose war and to refuse to take part in wars and helped lay the foundations for the promotion of peaceful means for the resolution of conflicts and for achieving a just peace.
Petition Status Petitions Closed
Petition submitted by (Business or Individual) Individual on behalf of the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre
Name of petitioner Brian Larkin
Opening date 23 March 2015
Closing date 4 June 2015
Total signatories 453
Petition Outcome The Petitions Committee on 11 June 2015 agreed:
1) To refer the petition ‘Edinburgh Conscientious Objectors Memorial’ to the Transport and Environment Committee for consideration.
2) To refer the petition ‘Edinburgh Conscientious Objectors Memorial’ to the Culture and Sport Committee for information.
3) To note that the Petitions Committee agreed and endorsed that a Conscientious Objectors Memorial should be sited within the city centre.
4) That Officers contact the Principal Petitioner to explore a possible location, design and timescale for the installation of any future memorial.
Further Action This petition was considered further at the Transport and Environment Committee on 25 August 2015 and 30 August 2016.
Links 1) Transport and Environment Committee 25 August 2015 1) Transport and Environment Committee 30 August 2016