John Bell

On 22 February 1916, John Bell applied for total exemption: “I beg leave to make application for exemption from military service because as a follower of Jesus Christ I believe it to be opposed to his teaching stated in the New Testament. I cannot with a clear conscience take part in this war or any war, as to do so would mean disobeying the definite principles and commands of Christ as I understand them.”

He was denied exemption and he appealed: “As one who has sought humbly to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, I believe the undertaking of military service to be Contrary to his teachings stated in the new restatement and to be disallowed alike by Christ, his apostles, whose teaching example mean to me quite the opposite to it.”

He was granted total exemption.