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Remembered Today:

DISCHARGED OR DISEMBODIED?


alf mcm

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I have noticed the following comments against soldiers names on a medal roll: ' discharged' aginst some names, and 'disembodied' against other names. What was the difference?

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I could be wrong but I think 'discharged' applied to regular and reserve soldiers and 'disembodied' to militia, territorial and yeomanry

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Alf,

I agree with Patrick

“Disembodied” relates to Territorial’s who were Embodied when mobilized.

“Discharged” for everyone else who left the Service i.e. New Army etc

Tom

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Technically, embodiment was for the TF as a whole or in part, the legal basis for using it in war. Individual soldiers were not, as a matter of military law, embodied in so far as I understand the matter.

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Stanley_C_Jenkins

I have always though that the term "disembodied" was associated particularly with the militia, who were "embodied" during period of national emergency. Thus, on 1st August 1919 the Oxfordshire Milita (also known as the 3rd Reserve Battalion) was held to have been disembodied in Victoria Barracks, Cork, its men being absorbed into the two regular battalions.

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  • 4 years later...

Apologies for being late into the fray, but my take on it, from the service records of my Great Uncle, is that the term embodied service and disembodied, did largely refer to the Territorial Forces.

My GU was disembodied in February 1919, and discharged one year later, in Feb 1920. I've assumed that this meant that he could be called upon at any time during that year, if the need arose, but once discharged, that was the end of it. Happy to be proven wrong.

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I have seen Embodied and Disembodied on TF soldier's records as well as Enlisted, Attested and Discharged. Agree with icox67.

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  • 2 weeks later...

'Embodied' refers to the seven year contract that TF soldiers signed with their battalion. Therefore men signing in 1908 (first year of TF) were 'disembodied' in 1914-5. In the 4th RWF, some men who became disembodied rejoined immediately; but most were glad to go home. A TF battalion, having reached the end was then, as with 4thRWF in 1919, 'disbanded'. Any soldier who became unfit to be a soldier, either TF, regular, or duration could be 'discharged' for many reasons - medical, conduct etc.

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One of my Gt Uncles was 'disembodied' He had been with a TF unit before the war was mobilized with it and after the war went back to being a member of the TF on the pre war basis (ie a 'part time soldier' again) so disembodied would be more accurate than discharged.

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'Embodied' refers to the seven year contract that TF soldiers signed with their battalion. Therefore men signing in 1908 (first year of TF) were 'disembodied' in 1914-5. In the 4th RWF, some men who became disembodied rejoined immediately; but most were glad to go home. A TF battalion, having reached the end was then, as with 4thRWF in 1919, 'disbanded'. Any soldier who became unfit to be a soldier, either TF, regular, or duration could be 'discharged' for many reasons - medical, conduct etc.

Sorry, but the above is very misleading. The standard term of service for Territorials was 4 years, not 7. That however, has nothing to do with being embodied. When the Territorial Force was formed in 1908 any men serving in the Volunteer Battalions were invited to attest for the Territorials. As the conditions of service were different for the TF the transfer was not automatic. Men could elect to serve for as little as one year in the Territorials if they were coming from the Volunteers, but new enlistments signed up for 4 years service in the UK. Men could be discharged from the TF for a variety of reasons including 'Termination of Engagement' when they reached the end of their agreed term. They could elect to sign on for a further one or two years each time their 'time expired' date arrived.

As has been stated in previous posts, embodiment was when a unit was mobilised for war and disembodiment was when the unit was stood down at the end of the conflict. By implication, when a unit was disembodied the men serving in that unit returned to their peacetime commitment.

I am happy to be corrected if my interpretation is wrong.

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Ken is undoubtedly right as to terms of service. I had two men in view who were "disembodied as TE (time excempt) after seven years". These were notes made on the November 1914 Battalion Embarcation Roll by the Adjutant as a follow up. He used the term, 'disembodied' for time excempt men only. All others are discharged, transferred or deserted, as well as the casualty records of kia, dow, prisoner or missing.

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Or from a TF Battalion History.

"After Christmas(1918),demobilsatation proceeded gently,and by the end of March(1919) the Battalion was down to cadre strength,It was at 4.30 pm.on Thursday,24th April,that the cadre took farewell of France and sailed for Southampton.The cadre was welcomed home on 30th April 1919".

The WW1 Battalion,therefore,marched into History.

George

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