CHARLES JOHN COBB

Charles John Cobb was a conscientious objector in WW1. He was refused recognition by his tribunal and was imprisoned five times between 1916 and 1919.

The heavy work and harsh conditions, in contrast to his sedentary work as a tea merchant's clerk, affected his health and he died in March 1919 soon after his final discharge. He left a wife and young child too poor to pay for a gravestone and lay in an unmarked grave in Croydon cemetery until 1988 when a marble headstone was erected by posthumous friends. The words on the stone 'I fear God, not man' are from his first trial.

In front of the new headstone are the graves of military dead and not far away a memorial to the dead civilians of Croydon who were killed in the Second World War just 30 years after the 'war to end all wars'.