Leo Austin Hudson

I can add some additional information to the biography of L A Hudson featured on your Roll of Honour list.
He was living at 1 Holywell Road with his mother, five siblings and a boarder in 1916. He worked at John Dickinson’s paper mill in Croxley. He joined the Independent Labour Party in 1907 and was a member of the Watford Labour Church for several years before joining the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1910. In line with his Party he was politically opposed to the war and he and other members of the Watford Branch took part in a protest which was staged at the Watford Military Tribunal hearing of 22nd March 1916. At the Tribunal he stated that he was;-
“a member of the international working class, a movement whose [members] interests were identical, he had a conscientious objection to participating in war. – The capitalists used the Army and Navy to crush the workers and wanted them to join the ranks to fight the capitalist [armies] of other countries.”
He was not a pacifist for he told the Tribunal that if the workers, “got control of the country they would use them [the military] to smash the capitalist class”.
He was asked about his religion he replied that he was an Atheist. When a Tribunal member took this to mean that “You are one of them that resent all control then, eh?” he replied “Not all control, only such as you pretend to have.” The Chairman Lord Clarendon told him to ‘keep a civil tongue in his head’.
Unlike his four Party comrades who went on the run to avoid conscription Leo was taken into the army under compulsion. As your entry states he was wounded then killed in France. His body was lost at the end of the Battle of Arras and his remains were not recovered until1920. His identity disc was sent to his mothers address in Chester Road however she herself had passed away while he was still missing.
Two accounts of his participation in the anti war demonstration, which was eventually broken up by the summoning of the police to the Watford Urban District Council Offices, are given in The Watford Observer-March 25th 1916 and The Socialist Standard No. 141 May 1916.

This page was added on 23/11/2018.

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