SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM" |
FRANCIS [FRANK] MOHUN.
Friends' Ambulance Unit.
Son of George and Isobel Harker Mohun, of 9 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
At the Census of 1901, Francis, aged 9, was living at 9 Boosbeck Rd.
His father, who worked down the Ironstone mine as a platelayer, came from Normanby, N Yorks and his
mother from Snainton, N Yorks.
He had three brothers, Alvin 18, a grocer's assistant, Gordon 17, a bricklayer's labourer, Ethelwald 13.
His four sisters were Florrie 15, Lillian 7, Annie 3 and Ruth 2.
The Friends' Ambulance Unit was a volunteer ambulance service, founded by British Quakers, and mostly staffed
by conscientious objectors
It operated from 1914 to 1919 and again during the Second World War and on to 1959.
The Unit was founded as the "Anglo-Belgian Ambulance Unit" at the start of World War I in 1914 and
Members were trained at Jordans, a hamlet in Buckinghamshire, that was and still is, a centre for Quakerism.
Altogether it sent over a thousand men to France and Belgium where they worked on
ambulance convoys and ambulance trains with the French and British armies.
They wore Army uniform, but only to distinguish them from the enemy.
There was an urgent demand for manpower as most of the Regular Army was lost early on and Conscription was
introduced in 1916 by the Military Services Act.
The law did allow for exemption on the grounds of conscientious objection, but all those who claimed had to go
before a tribunal to have the sincerity of their reasons assessed.
No doubt some just wanted to dodge the column.
In the spirit of nationalistic jingoism of the day all were classed as cowards.
For example some formed the Non Combatant Corps to fulfil non-military roles and were call the "No Courage Corps".
Francis Mohun was a young Quaker, who stood up for his principles of Pacifism and World Peace, when it would have
been a much easier option to follow the crowd.
We do not know much of his time in the War.
His niece who sent the photograph believes that he died of pneumonia.
When and where he died and the place of his grave is unknown.