Henry Charles Norster 

*? - †?


a) 1891-Census: 95 Prince Alfred Street, Gosport, Hants.n1901-Census: Portsmouth, SouthamptonnnOCCUPATION: 1891 (C) Scholarn1901 (C) Grocers AssistantnnMILITARY: Copy of WW1 record held.nn~Rank - PrivatenRegiment - Non Combatant Corps - Exempted from combatant service on Conscientious Grounds.nCivilian Trade - GrocernNoK - Father, Robert Attwood Norster (sic), 95 Whitworth Road, Gosport.nHenry Charles Norster was called up for non combatant service only - not due to his defective vision but on "conscientious grounds."nAccording to his military records he was an unmarried grocer, 5ft 6 and a half inches tall and weighing 123lbs.nJust one month into his service he was tried for disobeying the command of a superior officer, for which he was imprisoned for 56 days with hard labour.nHe wasn't demobilised until 31 March 1920.nn~Note from Ralph NorsternDad was one of the first conscientous objectors when conscription was introduced and the authorities were at a loss to know how to proceed.nTo make an example and to "test the water" the first seventeen c.o's were put on trial at the Old Bailey charged with Treason the penalty for which, in time of war, was death.nA very clever Kings Counsel, who was also a c.o. defended them and asked them to swear non combatent alligence to King and Country which they did and the charge of Treason was not proved.nThey were however ordered to be detained at His Majesty's pleasure for the extent of hostilities and Dad spent the rest of the war in Dartmoor Prison on hard labour.nHe did, in fact share his cell with a man who later became a Minister in the Labour government of 1945.nThough I did not share his convictions I was very proud of him for clinging to them.nn~Details from Dr Cyril Pearce collection of Conscientious ObjectorsnWar ServicenNCC(CM) (Disobeyed orders in the Non-Combatant Corps) Details of Court Martial: Posted to NCC (Non-Combatant Corps) (2 Aldershot) 24.6.16; to (3 Aldershot) 29.6.16; CM (Court Martial) Aldershot 11.7.16 - 56 days HL (With hard labour) Winchester CP (Civil Prison)nWork CentrenHOS (The Home Office Scheme, administered by the Brace Committee) Transfer to Army Reserve Class W 22.8.16; Dyce camp, Aberdeen; 13.11.16 been at Longsight, now at Warwick; 4.12.16 at Ercall Saw Mills, Market DraytonnPrisonnWinchester CP (Civil Prison) 14.7.16 discharged 22.8.16 to HOS (The Home Office Scheme, administered by the Brace Committee) Dyce