Anti-Conscription Leaflet By Sos Movement

Read Complete Research Material

Anti-Conscription Leaflet By SOS Movement

Anti-Conscription Leaflet By SOS Movement


This paper is aimed at discussing a topic which has been a thorny issue in the past in Australia, dealing with compulsory or mandatory service in the Australian military. The leaflet that will be used as the primary source was authored by Mrs P. Ashcroft, on behalf of the “Save Our Sons” Movement, which emerged in Australia in reaction to the requirement of conscription of young Australians. They deemed conscription to be against human rights, and they did not believe in putting the lives of millions of people at risk in Vietnam. Therefore, they began a movement which was aimed at creating awareness against the Defence Act of 1965, according to which young Australians could be asked to serve abroad, particularly in Vietnam.

Thus, it can be seen from the leaflet that the author was against the mandatory service of young Australians in the military, and the pamphlet itself was generated in order to make the masses aware of the perils of mandatory service in the military or conscription. In addition, the main message of the pamphlet was directed mainly at the mothers of young Australians, whose young sons could be called up for military duty at any given time. This paper is aimed at addressing the issue of conscription by analysing the content of the primary source, as well as by shedding light on secondary sources.


The primary source (leaflet, in this case) is aimed at a strong political message, which tries to catch the attention of mothers, and to try and create awareness toward the controversial Defence Act of 1965 in Australia. Thus, it can be said that the content of this primary source is based on an issue which had deep nationalistic connotations attached to it, and which was a matter of great public concern at that time.

Secondary Sources' Review

In 1964 compulsory military service for males over 20 years was introduced under the Act of 1964 of military service. These young men had to serve in the Commonwealth Military Force for a total of two years, followed by three years of service, although the period of service in the year 1971 was reduced to a mere two years, thus the requirement involving full-time assistance was lessened (Stockings, 2007). There was a significant amendment in May of 1965 to Defence Act, which was brought about as a result of the need for conscripts to serve in other countries, which was something which had only been done once before, and that for the World War.

The government made an announcement in March of 1966, which called for the young conscripts to join forces with the country regular army, or to fight alongside their American allies. Anyone who did not want to be part of the war had to either get conscientious objector status, get adjournment for studies or stay back in Australia and serve in the Citizen Military Forces. In addition, to get conscientious objector status, an individual had to show ...