PENARTH Quakers plan to make a contribution to the events marking the 100th anniversary of WW1, by holding a Silent Meeting for Worship in the band-stand in Alexandra Park on Saturday August 16 at 10.30.

Quakers (or, more correctly, The Religious Society of Friends) have been staunch advocates of peace ever since 1660, when their Peace Testimony, stating the Society’s opposition to all ‘war against any man with outward weapons,’ was first declared. Quakers seek to challenge the injustices which sow the seeds of conflict.

At the out-break of WW1 a group of Quakers established the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU). This provided an alternative to military service to those opposed to the War and who refused to fight. Over 1500 conscientious objectors served in the FAU during the course of the War, 21of whom died in service. The FAU provided medical support for the sick and wounded on ambulance trains and hospital ships, and staffed about a dozen hospitals in France, Belgium and England.

The Meeting on Saturday is a public recognition and remembrance of those who displayed great courage in opposing the War. Many suffered great hard-ship and condemnation at the time. Many served by devoting themselves to helping the casualties of that War.

The Meeting will also be an opportunity to reflect, in silence, on the impact of the War on society and what lessons, if any have been learned about the effectiveness of war as a means of achieving anything other than death and destruction. At a time like this, when at least eight major conflicts are raging in the world, it is more important than ever to remind ourselves that war demeans the human spirit and creates more difficulties than those it intended to solve.

All are welcome to join us on Saturday.

Alan Armstrong

Via email