In 1934 Dick Shepherd, the canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, launched a new peace organisation. Following the publication of a letter in national newspapers such as the Manchester Guardian, he asked men, initially, to send a postcard pledging never to support war:’The main reason for this letter, primarily addressed to men, is the urgency of the present international situation, and the almost universally acknowledged lunacy of the manner in which nations are pursuing peace…It seems essential to discover whether or not it be true, as we are told, that the majority of thoughtful men in this country are now convinced that war of every kind, or for any cause, is not only a denial of Christianity, but a crime against humanity, which is no longer to be permitted by civilised people…Would those of my sex who, so far, have been silent, but are of this mind, send a postcard to me within the next fortnight, to say if they are willing to be called together in the near future in support of a resolution as uncompromising as… “We renounce war, and never again, directly or indirectly, will we support or sanction another”.’ (1)
Thousands of men responded to the appeal. In 1936 the membership was opened to all. In 1936 the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) took over the production of the white poppy, which had been introduced three years earlier by the Women’s Co-operative Guild. In 1937 the No More War Movement merged with the PPU.
(1) Cited by Peace Pledge Union, A Little Bit of History.