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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Please tell me the meaning of this word!


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Dear Annestormont,

I would imagine it means to be removed from the army, whether that is good or bad I cannot say.

Yours &c.,


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Anne - he must have been a member of a unit which was part of the Territirial Force. These units, which operated on a part-time basis before the war, were "embodied" when the war began - that is, all the men were called in to full-time service. "Disembodied" is the opposite, when the Territorial units were stood down and returned to their pre-war part-time status. It's the Territorial Force equivalent of being "demobbed."


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Territorial battalions were mobilised at the outbreak of war (mainly on 5th August 1914). This process was called "Embodiment", and at that point both the battalion and the men in it were "embodied" for active service.

When these men were discharged at the end of the war, the processed was reversed and hence the men were "disembodied".

It is similar to the transfer to Class Z Reserve for the Kitchener volunteers.


EDIT: Too slow. Tom has beaten me to it. (Thankfully with the same answer).

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Thank you all so much for explaining that - not something very nasty after all!!

I suspect that there must be family history researchers out there who have come across 'disembodied' on an ancestor's MIC and, not knowing its true meaning, now believe that the poor man was disembowelled or blown to pieces. Does Ancestry provide a glossary of terms and abbreviations commonly encountered on MICs?

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