From War to Peace: Or a story of some very stupid people who came to their senses
The object of the fortnight is a booklet with the amusing title ‘From war to peace: or a story of some very stupid people who came to their senses.’ To coincide with Yorkshire day, on the first of August, we have chosen a booklet which incorporates Yorkshire but not as you would think! It is associated with the Peace Pledge Union who are the possible publishers. The booklet is currently on display in the WW1 gallery at the museum.
The Peace Pledge Union The Peace Pledge Union is the oldest secular pacifist organisation in Britain. Since 1934 it has been campaigning for a warless world. They are still active today and have projects such as the White Poppy campaign.
What’s the story about?
The booklet is essentially about the escalation of war between the English counties, especially between Yorkshire and Lancashire. But they are not referring to the War of the Roses here, they are talking about the First World War and using England as a metaphor for the world.
Who’s who? Yorkshire- Germany Lancashire- France London- England Sussex- Austria- Hungry Wales- the United States Northumberland- Russia Norfolk- Japan Kent- Italy The County Council- The League of Nations The Story It mentions all the key events that led up to the First World War and what happened throughout. An extract from the booklet states, ‘In the last year of the war Wales suddenly came in on the part of Lancashire, and the Welsh used to annoy all the other counties of England for years afterward by saying, “ Indeed, and it was all down to us who the war.” ’ It then talks about the failures of the County Council leading up to the Second World War. However this is where it diverges from history because in this story the Second World War never happened.
Instead London showed the rest of the counties how to become peaceful by asking its people what they wanted and asked them to send in the postcard. It was agreed by undertaking full disarmament others would in turn follow suit and the arms race that had plagued the Counties of England and led them to war in 1914 would be averted. It ends with, ‘Yorkshire and Lancashire were the last to disarm, but they did in the end, and England was at peace. And in those days England was the whole world’.
By Charlotte Hall. Charlotte joined The Peace Museum in May 2014 as a collection intern. Charlotte has been leading a location audit of the collections and has helped install and research objects in the newly developed WW1 gallery. Charlotte is studying a Masters in Museum and Art Gallery Studies at the University of Manchester.