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, George H, aged 42, worked down the Ironstone Mine as a Platelayer, [rail lines for ironstone tubs.] He had been born in Normanby, N Yorks.
His mother, Isabel H, age 41 had been born in Snainton, N Yorks. By the time of the 1911 census she had had 12 children and 11 were still living.
Frank had three brothers living at home, Alvin, 18, a Grocer's Assistant. Ernest Gordon 17, a bricklayer's labourer and Ethelwald 13.
His four sisters were Florrie 15, Lillian 7, Annie 3 and Ruth 2.
The family had a hyphenated Surname after Isabel's family as her Father, John Harker, age 61, was living with them and worked underground in the Mines as a night Overman. He had been born in Loftus, N Yorks.
1911. The family are still at 9 Boosbeck Rd. Ernest Gordon, age 27, is listed an Ironstone Miner.
Two new daughters have arrived Lucy, age 7 and Ethel, age 5.
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 later renamed.
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.
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