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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 21

only to learn that we could not and would not comply with the order. The seargeant [sic] reported our refusal “up” to the captain and to Major B. who soon came stalking into the barracks with a captain and lieutenant trailing at his heels all clad in full military regalia and side arms bristling. With a firm voice he commanded, “I give you a military ‘awder’ to go to the stables and perform work as assigned.” He left the barracks, but soon came again to see what effect his order had taken. In the meantime one of the lieutenants gave each of us a certificate stating that we were non-combatants with the only privilege that we were not to be transferred from the Remount against our will. The second time Major B. came, he gave each an individual order and wanted to know if we obey or refuse. He seemed not to be satisfied with, “I can not do it”, as though the success of prosecution depended more on the manner than on the fact of our refusal. After each one had refused as politely and quietly as he knew how, he told one of the Lieutenants to draw up the charges. Further he read to us from the articles of war and threatened to bring charges of mutiny against us besides the charge of disobedience. This threat to charge us with conspiracy to mutiny, gives evidence to what extent men would go if they could. This mutiny charge was dropped before it came to trial; there was not the remotest idea of any sustaining evidence that we acted in collusion. Any rational mind knowing our past record or circumstances could easily see that our unity in objecting to military service was the cause and not the effect of our segregation. This however can be said to the credit of Major B. he did not mince words and gave us fair warning that the situation was grave. He predicted a

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