The aim of this enquiry is to get students to investigate a range of original documents relating to the Tribunal Hearing of a particular Conscientious Objector. Students will look at the letters, transcripts and official documents that serve to structure the hearing, as well as investigating some of the legal and moral framework behind Conscientious Objection. By interpreting these documents they can examine how CO’s arrived at their ideas, how the authorities reacted to them and the difference between interpretation and implementation of law.
After examining the documents the student task is to write a narrative history of Carl Titford’s Tribunal hearing suitable for a history textbook. However, there are many other ways of engaging with this task - students may be encouraged to use other media in creating podcasts, videos, radio or TV style interviews or produce newspaper articles, creative projects or propaganda in a contemporary style.

General prompt questions for use with each document:
Who wrote this document?
When was it written?
Why was it written?

What is the purpose of this source?
Does the source show the writers opinions and values?
What is the intended audience for each document?

Does it link to other documents in the collection?
Does it agree or disagree with other documents?

More specific questions on each source are included in the resource guide document.

Working in Groups
In place of the background information given above, teachers may wish students to work in small groups to uncover the narrative of Carl’s Tribunal for themselves. Students may start work by looking at some of the documents in small groups, or pairs, before comparing with another group. As Conscientious Objection can be a complicated topic, it is still advisable that students have access to some of the background material and prompt questions.

Suggested groups of resources for small-group work

Attitudes towards Conscientious Objection:
Source 2 - Newspaper articles
Source 4 - Letter One
Source 5 - Letter Two

Questions and Answers:
Source 6 - List of Tribunal Questions
Source 7 - Transcript

Perceptions of Tribunal hearings:
Source 3 - Hearing Notice
Source 8 - Tribunal Image

Sources here

These notes &
source guide pdf