Matlock storytelling session spotlights wartime ‘conchies’

Matlock Storytelling Cafe will welcome Simon Heywood and Shonaleigh Cumbers on Friday, October 3, to present their moving show Out Out of the Silence: Stories of the Conscientious Objectors.

In 1916, as soldiers died and volunteers grew scarce, the British government began the first ever mass conscription of its own citizens.

Of millions called up, 16,000 claimed the new right to conscientious objection, so many that the state didn’t know what to do with them.

As their world collapsed, the “conchies” embarked on a long, lonely and silent war against war itself. They suffered ridicule, torture and imprisonment.

Drawing on first-hand accounts, letters, diaries and memoirs, storyteller and former peaceworker Simon Heywood and drut’syla (Yiddish storyteller) Shonaleigh bring the voices of these conscientious objectors out of the silence.

The Storytelling Cafe will be hosted at Imperial Rooms, Matlock, at 7.30pm. Tickets £7 and can be bought by calling Storytelling Cafe on 01629 580023 or on the door.