Title: We Will Not Cease

Author: Archibald Baxter

Second (popular) Edition

Publication details: The Caxton Press, 1968, Christchurch

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Cape Catley Limited

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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We Will Not Cease

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In 1915 in New Zealand the National Register was taken. All men of military age were required to state whether they were willing to undertake military service. Of approximately 196,000 in this category 33,700 said they would not undertake service at home or abroad, and 44,300 declared their willingness to undertake home service, but refused service abroad. Yet the following year the New Zealand Government introduced conscription.

The author made his opposition to the war and his attitude to conscription clear in the first years of the conflict, and after the passing of the Conscription Act, he was arrested without even receiving notice that he was required to serve in the Army. In company with other objectors, he was moved from jail to jail. He was transferred on board a troopship to France, and upon arrival there was officially tortured by means of the field punishment known as crucifixion. He suffered unofficial as well as official punishment, and was, on several occasions, beaten up. He was placed alone in an area which was heavily shelled and before he was through with the various attempts to make him change his mind, he was physically and mentally exhausted: prison, bad food (or no food), punishments, illness and nervous strain were at last too much for him and he collapsed, seriously ill, and had to be transferred to a hospital. He was taken (quite unnecessarily it appears) to a mental