Hunot, Peter (1914-1989) social scientist and progressive activist

Peter Hunot BookplateADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: Peter Hunot was born in Winchester in August 1914 and, shortly after, left to Morocco to join his father, Architect and British Vice-Consul.. He was educated at boarding school in Bexhill-on-Sea, Dartmouth Naval College and Kings School, Canterbury.

After another brief spell in Morocco, Hunot entered Guy’s Hospital as a dental student. During this time, he became influenced by the writings of H.G.Wells, joined the H.G.Wells Society (later renamed The Open Conspiracy, and even later, Cosmopolis) and soon became the Society’s paid full-time secretary, which enabled him to give up his dental career. During this time, Hunot also became involved with the National Peace Ballot and volunteered with the National Council for Civil Liberties.

Prior to the Second World War, Hunot, with a friend in Battersea, established the Civil Defence journal, Maroon, and at the outbreak of war he joined the Battersea Civil Defence Services. Due to his progressive influences, Hunot became a conscientious objector during the war and edited an unofficial monthly journal for the Civil Defence Services, the ARP and NFS Review. He also became a representative for civil defence workers on the Central Board for Conscientious Objectors, chaired by Fenner Brockway and provided administrative facilities by the Society of Friends, and became involved with the Citizen's Guild for Civil Defence. Shortly after the war, Hunot took part with several surveys conducted by Mass Observation and became active in the Engineers Study Group on Economics. He was also introduced, with Eyvind Tew, to the Union of International Associations (UIA) in Brussels, an organisation originally formed in 1910 by Otlet and La Fontaine to work in the field of the growing number of international bodies being created at the turn of the century. Hunot worked with the UIA and studied organisations in London, Paris and Brussels; co-editing the first yearbook of International Organisations.

In later years, he edited The Ethical Record, the journal of the South Place Ethical Society, and continued his involvement with a variety of progressive organisations, including the Society for Innovation Research, the Future World Society, the Association of Humanistic Psychologists and the republican movement, Republic. Hunot died in January 1989.


  • Minutes, agendas, administrative correspondence and reports of the Central Board of Conscientious Objection, 1942-1945
  • Pamphlets, leaflets and broadsheets published by the Central Board of Conscientious Objection, and general pamphlets relating to conscientious objection, 1940-1971
  • Photographs of ARP (Air Raid Precaution) and NFS (National Fire Service) staff, committee meetings, bomb damage and the ARP at work, 1939-1945
  • Papers, reports, statements, minutes and correspondence from Hunot's involvement with the National ARP Co-ordinating Committee and the ARP and NFS Review, 1940-1944
  • Pamphlets, periodicals and publications regarding civil defence and ARP duty in Britain and America, 1942-1945

EXTENT: 6 boxes