44 Conscientious Objectors

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274-295 AD - Maximilianus - Christian son of a Roman soldier in North Africa. Refused to go to war. Earliest recorded conscientious objector. Became a saint. CO

1075-1115 - Magnus Erlendsson - First Earl of Orkney. Saint Magnus. Refused to fight in a Viking raid on Anglesey, stayed on board ship singing psalms. CO


1873-1945 - Alfred Salter - Doctor & Labour MP. Opposed RAF bombing. Wrote "The Religion of a CO." Statue on bench in Bermondsey. CO

1878-1919 - Charles John Cobb - Conscientious objector. Imprisoned five times between 1916 & 1919. CO
1878-1975 - Arthur Ernest Morgan - Civil engineer. Headed Antioch College 1920-36, TVA 1933-38 & intentional communities 1948. Recruited CO's for Celo Community. P

1879-1958 - Lionel Charlton - Air Commodore in Royal Air Force (RAF). Objected to bombing of Iraqi villages in 1923. CO

1882-1944 - Arthur Stanley Eddington - Astrophysicist. Conscientious objector during WW-I. Validated Einstein's Theory of Relativity. CO

1886-1950 - Olaf Stapledon - Philosopher & science fiction author. Attended World Cong of Intellectuals for Peace in 1948 & Conf for World Peace in New York in 1949 (only Briton granted a US visa). CO

1888-1960 - Toyohiko Kagawa - Christian pacifist, reformer & labor activist. His desire to help the poor led him to live among them. Established schools, hospitals & churches. P
1888-1966 - Augusto Masetti - Anarchist & anti-militarist. Involved in a case of insubordination to military orders on October 30, 1911, when the military was leaving for the war in Libya. CO
1888-1988 - Fenner Brockway - Anti-war activist & politician. Statue in London. CO

1891-1939 - Mark Gurtler - Artist. Became consciencious objector & painted anti-war "Merry Go Round" in 1916. CO

1893-1971 - Daniel West - Teacher & Brethren. Conceived the Heifer Project while doing relief work in the Spanish Civil War. Called "a practical mystic." CO

1895-1961 - John T. Neufeld - CO sentenced to 15 years hard labor at Fort Levenworth. Paroled to do dairy work & released after 5 months. Mennonite pastor. CO

1899-1939 - Johann Nobis - Conscientious objector. Executed in Plötzensee Prison (Berlin, Germany) with five other Jehovah's Witnesses. CO


1904-1967 - John Courtney Murray - Jesuit priest & theologian. Helped draft & promote "Declaration on World Peace" in 1943. CO

1905-1940 - Joseph Ruf - Christian motivated CO. " 'Brother Maurus" in the company of Christ the King, of the Max Josef Metzger was founded." Executed. CO MON
1905-2001 - Ernest Morgan - Eldest son of Arthur Ernest Morgan. Communitarian at Celo Community in North Carolina. Wrote "Dealing Creatively With Death." P MON

1907-1943 - Franz Jägerstätter - Nazis executed. RC Church beatified in 2007. Monuments in Austria, Germany & USA (Philadephia). CO MON

1910-1939 - August Dickmann - First conscientious objector executed by the Nazis in Germany during World War II. CO

1914-2010 - George Willoughby. Advocate for world peace. Click here for peace monuments related to boats. CO

1915-Alive - Joseph Abileah - Israel’s first conscientious objector. Biography by Anthony Bing. P CO

1916-2002 - Stephen G. Cary - American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) administrator. Ran CO camps & European relief. P CO 1947

1918-Alive - Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi - Conscientious objector. Lost case against Japanese internment in 1943 but exonerated in 1987. CO
1918-2003 - Robert Swann - Anti-nuclear communitarian. Created EF Schumacher Soc & Voluntown Peace Trust. See autobio & wife Marjorie Swann Edwin. CO

1919-1957 - Lewis Hill - Co-founder of first listener-supported US radio station & Pacifica Radio network. Committed suicide. CO
1919-2006 - Desmond Doss - Seventh Day Adventist. First US conscientious objector to receive Medal of Honor & one of only three so honored. CO

1920-2006 - Peter Brock - Peace historian at University of Toronto. Specialized in history of pacifism & Eastern Europe. CO P

1921-Alive - Melvin Norris (Mel) Leasure - Teacher. Communitarian at Cooperative Homesteads near Detroit & Common Ground near Lexington, VA. Pres of School of Living (SOL). CO

1929-Alive - Staughton Lynd - Radical & author. Subject of "The Admirable Radical: Staughton Lynd & Cold War Dissent, 1945-1970." CO

1939-2010 - Arthur Gish - Peace activist, preacher, writer & public speaker. Opposed Vietnam & Iraq Wars. Served on Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron & At-tuwani (West Bank). CO

1941-Alive - David Hartsough - Anti-war activist. Co-founded Gandhi-like Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) in 2002 after attending Hague Appeal for Peace. CO

1942-Alive - Muhammad Ali - Heavyweight boxer. Born Cassius Clay. UN Messenger of Peace. See museum in Louisville, Kentucky. CO
1942-Alive - Eric Nagler - Musician & TV personality. Moved to Canada in opposition to Vietnam War. Acquitted in 1972. Brother of Michael Nagler (qv). CO

1944-Alive - Jesse Winchester - Singer-songwriter. Moved from USA to Canada in 1967 to avoid the Vietnam War draft. CO

1945-Alive - Andy Barrie - Host of CBC Radio's Metro Morning. Deserted US Army in 1969 after being ordered to Vietnam. CO

1946-Alive - David Harris - Journalist & author. Protested Vietnam War. Married to Joan Baez (qv) 1968-1973. CO

1949-2012 - Gerd Greune - Teacher & peace activist. Key figure in Inst for Intl Assistance & Solidarity (IFIAS) & European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO). CO


c1950-Alive - Jeff Kovak - Prof of Chemistry, Univ of Tennessee. Wrote "Refusing War, Affirming Peace: A History of Civilian Public Service Camp #21 at Cascade Locks" (2009). CO
c1950-Alive - Walter Davis - Executive Director, National Organizers Alliance (NOA). Moved to Canada to avoid draft during Vietnam War. CO

1955-Alive - Adam Keller - Israeli "refusenik." Cofounder of & spokesman for Gush Shalom / Peace Bloc. CO

1964-Alive - Sergeant Kevin Benderman - Court martialed in July 2005 for refusing to serve US Army in Iraq. CO

1968-Alive - Malcolm Kendall-Smith - First British officer to face criminal charges for challenging legality of war against Iraq (in RAF). CO

1978-Alive - Mehmet Tarham - CO sentenced to 4 years in military prison. Released in March 2006 after spending several months in prison. CO

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