The Challenging Road to Peace since the First World War

The Tavistock Peace Action Group has created a 21 board exhibition about the slide into war in 1914, also covering enlistment, conscription and conscientious objection. ‘The Challenging Road to Peace since the First World War’ lists the men of the Devon town killed in the conflict, their ages and where they died. The exhibition then considers the legacy of the war, with a four board timeline of the 100 years since. It highlights the changes in international relations made by organisations like the UN and efforts to make a more peaceful world. Finally it looks at the challenges of today which may lead us to war or a more peaceful future.

All of the files below are downloadable and are intended for use by those who have an interest in the subject matter. They have been prepared by the Tavistock Peace Action Group (TPAG) and its content may be used by anyone who wants to but some individual items, such as photographs or poems, may need permission from the copyright holders.

Apart from providing this information, what else can we do for you? If you want to borrow the exhibition for display in your church, school or group, please get in touch with us ( We can also provide a speaker to go through the presentation and give you any support which may be necessary.


The information presented on the exhibition boards is expanded in a comprehensive document entitled ‘The challenging Road to Peace since the First World War’. The document, which can be accessed as a pdf file here,  looks at some of the following:
* Causes of the war like militarisation and nationalism. Opposition to the war both in Britain and Germany and conscientious objection.
* Horror of war using the example of poison gas, Wilfred Owen’s poem and how Chemical weapons have since been banned and stockpiles destroyed.
* The evolution of International Organisations and Laws to minimise the chance of war. People who have worked for peace.
* National Organisations for peace.
* Challenges on the road like the Arms Trade, Nuclear weapons and boy/girl soldiers.

The Exhibition

The individual panels of the exhibition are listed below and each can be accessed as a pdf file by clicking on the panel number.

Part 1: Introduction: The Challenging Road to Peace since the First World War. Is war a reasonable way to conduct international relations?
Part 2: Two Women warn Against War (Emily Hobhouse and Bertha von Suttner).
Panel 3: The Slide into War. Who contributed to war?
Panel 4: Speaking up against war (Sylvia Pankhurst and Bertrand Russell).
Panel 5: Recruiting Soldiers. Within six months one million men had volunteered. Why?
Panel 6: Conscription to replace the dead.
Panel 7: Conscientious objection.
Panel 8: Poison Gas: Some thought it was ‘right and proper’ to die for one’s country.
Panel 9: Voices of World War One. Some contemporary quotes.
Panel 10: The War Dead from Tavistock. A list of those men from the Tavistock area who were killed in the conflict.
Panel 11: The Start of Co-operation between Nations.
Panel 12: A TimeLine of The Challenging Road to Peace since the First World War.
Panel 13: What Makes a War more Likely Today?
Panel 14: What Helps to Keep a Peaceful World?
Panel 15: Bomb or Negotiate?
Panel 16: Today’s Challenges on the Road to Peace.
Panel 17: What Can You Do to make a Difference?
Panel 18: About the Tavistock Peace Action Group.

The information we have compiled has been incorporated into a presentation format. The full version can be found for download in both pdf (here) and Powerpoint (here) formats. For convenience, shorter sections can be downloaded also. Part 1 pdf; Part 1 ppt; Part 2 pdf; Part 2 ppt; Part 3 pdf; Part 3 ppt.

Supplementary Material

To supplement and complement the information presented in the core document and the exhibition, various compilations of associated material have been prepared. These deal with various war/peace-related themes and provide a wide commentary. Just click on the blue links to be taken to the downloadable pdf file.

  • Many musicians from around the world have dealt with the subject of war and an anthology of Anti War Songs can be found here.
  • Similarly, many people in the wider arts have dealt with the same subject. Here is a compilation of books, films and theatre about WW1.
  • Recruiting Officers were keen to enlist as many fighting men as possible and did not always check the details of those volunteering very carefully. Here are the stories of some of the Boy Soldiers who served (and died).
  • Over the years, there have been many Champions of Peace. Here you can find the details of many inspiring people.
  • The Geneva and Haig Conventions are often quoted in relation to war. But what do you know about them? Go here to find out.
  • In 1901, Henry Dunant, from Switzerland, the Founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, became the first person to receive the Nobel Peace Award. It has been awarded at regular intervals ever since. You can read about all the Nobel Champions for Peace here.
  • “Out of the mouths of supporters and opposers of war”. An Anthology of Quotations which illustrates the culture surrounding war can be found here.
  • Weapon Use and Development have carved a path of destruction over the years since the beginning of the First World War. Here is a list of some of the more notorious milestones.