A Hats On Protest: Anti-war feeling in Kennington Park

Not all anti-war protest involved banners and marching. In October 1915, a recruitment meeting for the 23rd battalion, London Regiment was held in the park. Local military officers talked about the virtues and rewards of war service; local councillors drove home the same messages in patriotic speeches. The event was wrapped up with the singing of the national anthem - an effort that was not embraced with appropriate gusto by all in the crowd. A group of men - named 'socialists' in the press report - refused to 'do the right thing' and take their hats off during the song as a mark of respect. They were set upon by the 'lads in khaki' who removed their hats for them.