This film is part of Free

Defending This Country Only Means Attacking Another

The Peace Pledge Union, a pacifist organisation, is out in force in Brynmawr/Ebbw Vale, placards suggesting that they are campaigning against a munitions factory in the area.

Home movie 1938 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Anti-war demonstrators with Peace Pledge Union placards at an unknown event which is only glimpsed, briefly. A VIP appears to be visiting a military camp or recruitment drive, or a munitions factory site in the Ebbw Vale/Brynmawr area, where the pacifist Society of Friends (Quakers) had set up projects for the unemployed during the 1930s e.g. boot and furniture making, subsistence farming. WWII brought munitions factories – and thereby jobs – to Ebbw Vale.

The Peace Pledge Union was founded in 1934, when it was becoming clear that the Great War had not been the war to end all wars. The pledge taken was “I renounce war, and I will never support or sanction another”. The PPU is still in existence today, the oldest non sectarian pacifist organisation in Britain, challenging militarism, seeking alternative ways of resolving conflict, selling white poppies to advocate peace and in remembrance of all who have died as the result of war, both military personnel and civilians. In 1938 it undertook a Carlisle to London peace campaign. This footage could show local action in support of the campaign. It was shot by J. Fred Phillips, a Brynmawr cinema operator.