A Different Kind of Hero
by Stan Phillips
I met him long ago in an East Yorkshire seaside town. He was well into his eighties then, tiny, neat, one of ‘the old school’ of human beings, in that he exuded an air of dignity and politeness of year’s long gone.
Widowed he was, Mr Pearson, a retired pharmacist, who sat with me in those Bridlington tea rooms and told me part of his story. How in those dire days of jingoism at the outbreak of the first world war, he had been forced to declare his humanist credentials and refuse to fight by declaring as a Consciousness Objector. By doing so, he was either going to go to prison where mundane war work was the norm, or he could do humanitarian work at the front. He chose the latter.
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