“Should Britain Go To War With Germany?”
On August 4th 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. On August 2nd, Bristol Dockers’ Union held a mass meeting on the dockside to debate whether Britain should go to war. They voted unanimously against war. This was one of many anti-war meetings and demonstrations across the country.
The planned commemorations of the outbreak of war will ignore the voices of the many people who spoke out against war a hundred years ago. Rather than people being united in wanting to attack Germany, a debate raged as to whether or not Britain should go to war.
Remembering The Real World War 1 will be re-staging the Bristol dockers’ debate on Saturday July 26th at 2pm on Narrow Quay, near the Arnolfini. Map and directions here
Expect period costume, flags and banners. The main speakers will be Ernest Bevin (National Organiser Dockers Union) and Ben Tillett (General Secretary National Transport Workers Federation)
Jeremy Clarke, of the Remembering The Real World War 1 group who are organising the event, said, “The impression is given that in August 1914 all of Britain wanted war with Germany. We want to show that, contrary to this, the issues were being widely debated. locally and nationally. Many people were opposed to war.”