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Hero image for Great War Stories 1 - Mark Briggs

Great War Stories 1 - Mark Briggs

Television (Full Length Episode) – 2014

This slot in TV3’s Great War Stories series looks at Kiwi conscientious objector Mark Briggs. In World War I imprisonment faced those who objected to doing their bit for King and country on moral grounds. In 1917 unionist Briggs and 13 others (including Archibald Baxter) were shipped to the front and made an example of via ‘Field Punishment No.1’, which saw the pacifists bound to a post in the open, then forced into the trenches. Archive material and art by Wellington's Bob Kerr depict the torture in this short documentary, which screened during 3 News in 2014.

No one regrets more than I do that it has been necessary to punish the conscientious objectors. But it is obvious that unless something were done, consciences would develop to an abnormal degree.
– Minister of Defence James Allen defends his decision to send the men overseas

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