No More War Movement

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The No More War Movement was the name of two pacifist organisations, one in the United Kingdom and one in New Zealand.

British Group[edit]

The British NMWM Movement was founded in 1921 as a pacifist and socialist successor to the No-Conscription Fellowship.[1] [2] For the first two years of its existence, it was known as the No More War International Movement.[1] It became the British section of War Resisters International.[1] Chaired by Fenner Brockway, it asked members to strive for revolutionary socialism but not to take part in any war.[2] Other notable NMWM members included Wilfred Wellock,[3] Leslie Paul,[4] A. Barratt Brown, Leyton Richards, W. J. Chamberlain [3] and Monica Whately.[5] It attracted notable supporters, including Albert Einstein. In 1926, a member proposed the creation of a white poppy, in the manner of the British Legion's red poppies, but with the added meaning of a hope for an end to all wars. The group did not pursue the idea, but it was later taken up by the Women's Co-operative Guild.[6] At its peak, the NMWM numbered around 3000 members, many from the Independent Labour Party.[1] In 1929, several prominent British intellectuals signed a statement, "Why I Believe in the No More War Movement", supporting the NMWM's aims.[7] The group published two journals: The New World and No More War. [6]

After Brockway resigned in 1929, and secretaries Walter Ayles and Lucy Cox left in 1932, the group foundered. Reginald Reynolds, a Quaker influenced by Gandhi, became general secretary, but he could not stop a drift of members to the communist British Anti-War Movement and the New Commonwealth Society. Anarchists became increasingly prominent, but most left after the Movement, in accordance with its pacifist principles, refused to support the fighting of either side in the Spanish Civil War. In 1937 the organisation formally merged with the Peace Pledge Union, although the Midlands Council of the NMWM retained an independent existence for a year or so.[6]

New Zealand Group[edit]

The New Zealand NMWM was founded in the 1920s by Fred Page (d. 1926).[8] [9] It strived to influence public opinion in New Zealand through petitions and public discussion.[8] By the late 1930s it was losing influence to two other New Zealand pacifist bodies: the New Zealand branch of the Peace Pledge Union, and Archibald Barrington and Ormond Burton's Christian Pacifist Society of New Zealand.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Martin Ceadel, Semi-Detached Idealists:The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1854-1945. Oxford University Press, 2000 ISBN 0199241171 (p. 432)
  2. ^ a b Lyn Smith, Voices against War : A Century of Protest. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. (2009) (pp. 63-64). ISBN 184596456X.
  3. ^ a b Michael Pugh, Liberal Internationalism: The Interwar Movement for Peace in Britain. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. ISBN 0230537634 (p. 94)
  4. ^ Leslie Paul, Angry Young Man. Faber, 1951. (p. 204, 284)
  5. ^ Nigel Copsey and Andrzej Olechnowicz, Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period Palgrave Macmillan 2010. ISBN 0230006485 (p. 108)
  6. ^ a b c Peter Barberis, John McHugh and Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations
  7. ^ W. J. Chamberlain, Fighting for Peace: The Story of the War Resistance Movement, London, 1929. Among the signatories were: Harold Laski, Frederick Soddy, H. M. Swanwick, Margaret Llewelyn Davies, Herbert Henry Elvin, John Scurr, Tom Williams, Evelyn Sharp, Emily Phipps, Canon Charles E. Raven, Rhys J. Davies, Hamilton Fyfe, the Marquis of Tavistock, Barbara Ayrton-Gould and Alfred Salter.
  8. ^ a b David Grant, Out in the Cold: Pacifists and Conscientious Objectors in New Zealand During World War II. Reed Methuen, 1986 (p. 23-24).
  9. ^ John Crawford, Ian McGibbon New Zealand's Great War: New Zealand, the Allies, and the First World War. Exisle Publishing, 2007 ISBN 0908988850 (p. 93)
  10. ^ J. E. Cookson, "Pacifism and Conscientious Objection in New Zealand" in Challenge to Mars : essays on pacifism from 1918 to 1945, edited by Peter Brock and Thomas P. Socknat. University of Toronto Press, 1999.. ISBN 0802043712 (p. 293)