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Introduction

What evidence does this trail provide about religious and other beliefs about peace and conflict? In a little over half a mile, you can find examples from several religious traditions as well as those of no religious faith.

Why do this trail?

The trail would be most suitable for students in Y9 upwards who are studying religion, peace and conflict e.g. as a GCSE short course module. 

Within a very short distance, this trail includes:

  • A range of different memorials to people who have suffered or died as a result of wars: the Euston Station memorial to railway workers who died in 1st and 2nd World Wars; the cherry tree planted in memory of the victims of Hiroshima; a plaque in memory of two firemen killed in WW2
  • Examples of people in two religious traditions who believe in non-violence as the best way to address potential conflicts (memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu; Friends’ House and Peace Garden – the pacifist tradition within Christianity);
  • A memorial to conscientious objectors from any belief background who refuse on principle to kill others
  • A tree planted to commemorate the UN Year of Peace, planted by the Jewish Women’s League
  • A plaque in memory of those who died as victims of the 7/7 London bus bombings

Themes to explore:

  • Peace and conflict/war
  • Religious and other beliefs and teachings about peace and conflict
  • Reflection on why we humans commemorate dead people, traumatic events or particular beliefs
  • Reflection on the statues, memorials, objects and places, and the religious or other beliefs they represent
  • Reflection on symbols of war and peace; ways pupils would make a memorial themselves to commemorate one of these events, people or groups.
  • Discussion with two or three others about whether there are differences between::
    • killing someone in war and killing someone in a terrorist attack?
    • campaigning for peace and being a conscientious objector?
    • ordinary war and weapons of mass destruction?
    • a conscientious objector and a coward?
    • violent and non-violent ways of resolving conflict?

Images on these pages are ©S.Smalley unless otherwise indicated. They may be used in an educational setting but not otherwise without permission of the author.

Time needed: about 60 - 75 minutes 

Practicalities: Tavistock Square would be fine for having a picnic in fine weather, but no toilets available (nearest probably Euston Station); Friends’ House has a café and toilets but would be overwhelmed by a class of 30. Would be possible to combine this trip with visit to British Museum which has plenty of facilities, and go there first then on to Tavistock Square, finishing up at Euston.

Trail Points

Euston Station War Memorial

Quaker Meeting House Peace Garden

Tavistock Square: Memorial to the Conscientious Objectors

Tavistock Square: Memorial to the victims of the Hiroshima Bomb

Tavistock Square: Mahatma Gandhi statue

Upper Woburn Place: 7/7 memorial