What is the Pearce Register?

Cyril Pearce"4.7.17 to Wrexham barracks, refused medical and refused uniform. 6.7.17 Taken to Litherland Camp, Liverpool - released on bail; surrendered himself to Bangor Police Court 25.9.17; 3 R.Welsh Fusiliers Court Martial Litherland 8.10.17 - 2 years With hard labour, Wormwood S." Court Martial Outcome, Pearce Register entry for Rev. Benjamin Meyrick

This is one small tantalising snippet from the fascinating Pearce Register of Conscientious Objectors. The Regsiter is the work of Cyril Pearce, a retired senior lecturer based at the University of Leeds. The complete Register contains thousands and thousands of entries detailing what is known about World War I Conscientious Objectors across the UK, from tribunal, home office, prison and other records. 

The Wales for Peace project is delighted to bring to the Peace Map of Wales the Welsh entries from the database so you can search for Welsh/Wales-based Conscientious Objectors, find out what motivated them, and hopefully feel motivated to dig deeper and uncover their stories. 

It's a database that has been created in English and is contantly evolving through Cyril's ongoing extensive research. We've translated some of the headings and the instructions, thanks to funding from Voices of War and Peace. We hope to find future funding to translate the database to make it availble in Welsh. 

How do I search the online Pearce Register?

Simply go to the Wales Peace Map and tick the Pearce Register box. A search bar will appear across the bottom of the map and the full list of Pearce Register entries will appear in a table below the search bar (5 entries per page). You can filter/search in the following ways:

  • search by name: type a name or part of a name into the box and all the entries containing this name will appear
  • filter by county: select any of the counties from the drop down list. These are the Welsh counties prior to 1994
  • search by town: type in any town or village to find the entries from that location - not every entry has this information
  • filter by motivation: select any motivation from the list and the results will appear below

Click 'Find out more' on any entry to see all the details from the Pearce Regsiter, from information about tribunals to prison service details. 

A few extra pointers:

  • Numbers in brackets after a name refer to the individual's army number
  • Some of the Pearce Register entries have specific addresses and these appear as pins on the Peace Map. Those without address information do not appear as pins. 
  • The gaps in the record are because some information is unknown. We welcome volunteers to uncover these gaps and the stories behind the names in the register. 

How do I share a story behind a name on the Pearce Regsiter?

You can share a story on our peace map in several ways - visit our peace pathways page to find out more. Read an example of an uncovered story on our blog

Resources supporting the Pearce Regsiter

Watch this space for educational and other resources to help you use the Pearce Regsiter.