I read that the Friends Service Council (The Quakers) and the American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) won the Noble Peace prize in 1947. Does anyone know what for exactly. I would think it was for something to do with the second world war, but I'm not sure.
The Friends Service Council (The Quakers) and the American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) were actually nominated several times for the peace prize prior to winning it in 1947.
on each occasion the nominations had been influenced by Quaker relief work with the victims of war and famine.
In the aftermath of World War II, the Quakers continued their work.
providing assistance for the needy without discrimination in Germany, elsewhere in Europe and in Asia, just as they had in the aftermath of World War 1
The relief work from the UK side of the Quakers (Friends Service Council) was carried out by the Friends Relief Service (FRS). My mother worked with the FRS in London packing foodstuffs and supplies to be shipped to needy regions in Europe, primarily Germany. My aunt worked with FRS in the field in Brunswick (Braunschweig) North Germany distributing food and supplies to people in distressed circumstances and helping displaced persons/refugees get passage to safer places directly after WW2.
The other branch of the UK Quakers was called the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU). These were ambulances which would work in WW2 battle zones picking up wounded soldiers while under artillery and regular fire. The volunteers were all pacifists and carried no weapons, but had a clear chance of being blown up or shot in their duties! My uncle drove ambulances in the FAU in North Africa during the Rommel campaigns and in other parts of the world. He also helped Jewish refugees in Italy get passage to Palestine.
Because of the work of these branches of Quakerism the FSC and the AFSC were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. There is also a memorial to their work unveiled just this year in the UK and more information can be found in this Guardian article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/apr/16/rare-memorial-inspires-quakers-work
A more complete story about pacifism amongst Quakers can be seen at this link related to the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize: