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Today (15 May) is International Conscientious Objectors Day.
It was recognised as such in 1987 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to respect "the right of everyone to have conscientious objection to military service as a legitimate exercise of the right of freedom, thought, and religion”.
There is a fascinating free exhibition, entitled Conscience Matters, currently running at the National War Museum in Edinburgh. It explores the often forgotten story of British conscientious objectors of the Second World War.
It tells the stories of individual conscientious objectors including; Scottish author Fred Urquhart, poet Edwin Morgan, artist Sax Shaw, Constance Margaret Bull, a trained nurse and volunteer for the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU), Peter Tennant and Tom Burns, also volunteers for the FAU, and others who fought to share their convictions on the grounds of conscience.
Drawing on research by the University of Edinburgh it examines the motivations and dilemmas of conscientious objectors many of whom went on to become significant cultural and political figures in post-war Britain, founding Amnesty International and Oxfam, among other things.
The term ‘conscientious objection’ was not recognised until WWI after conscription was introduced in 1916 to replace the thousands of casualties killed or wounded in the first two years of the war.
Between 1916 and 1918 more than 6,000 men went to prison in the UK for their beliefs.
Many were detained in work camps such as at Dyce, Aberdeenshire where 200 men were forced to quarry stone while living in leaky tents with poor sanitation, little food, and no medical attention.
One man died as a result of the treatment. He was the first of 73 conscientious objectors across the UK to lose their lives.
Full story in Scotland Correspondent magazine bit.ly/2WJkDCQ
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OTD (14 May) 1754 the 22 ‘Noblemen and Gentlemen’ got together and contributed a silver club to be played for annually over the Links of St Andrews and laid the foundations for the Royal and Ancient, the foremost club in Scottish and world golf history.
One of the 22 young men was The Right Hon Earl of Elgin and Kincardine. His story and that of the entire Bruce family is part of the fantastic history of @BroomhallHouse bit.ly/2IaeATq
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OTD (14 May) 1752 Colin Campbell of Glenure, known as the "Red Fox", and a notorious persecutor of Jacobites after Culloden, was shot dead in Appin.
Alan Breck, later made famous in Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’, was accused even though no evidence was ever put forward.
Breck fled to France but his foster father James Stewart, aka James of the Glen, was arrested and made a scapegoat. Despite there being no evidence he was involved James was found guilty by a jury made up of mostly Campbells at a trial in Inveraray presided over by the Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell.
James was hanged in November 1752 and his body left to rot on the gibbet as an example to others.
However there is growing suspicion the Red Fox may have been murdered by his own nephew, Mungo Campbell.
Full story bit.ly/2yzmU7F
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Dog’s have long been regarded as man’s best friend but in Scotland it appears that relationship goes back even further than most people realised.
Forensic experts have recreated the face of a dog discovered in a tomb in Orkney which dates back more than 4,000 years.
The remains of the Neolithic pet were discovered in Cuween Hill chambered cairn on Orkney which is looked after by @HistoricEnvScotland.
The skull, now in the collection of @NationalMuseumsScotland, was scanned by staff in the Diagnostic Imaging Service at Edinburgh University’s Royal School of Veterinary Studies (@dickvet) and a 3D print made.
Full story bit.ly/2HeiGZy
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