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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Deferment of Military Service tribunals


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In no way am i saying that people i am researching went out of there way to dodge Military service .... however when looking through a list of Tribunals yesterday for the village it struck me that some of the reasons were quite shall we say lame.

2 examples i have

Oct 1916. A married man with 5 kids working 300 acres of land, 85 milking head of cattle & already loosing 2 lads to service was given a conditional discharge, this even i can see is a good reason to defer service.


Oct 1916. A married man who ran the village pub asked for deferal as his wife would be to nervouse to manage it in his abcence. This was dismissed & the local constable asked to enforce the word of a Barkeepers wife to be taken in the same manner as the Barman. I just found it hard to see that he thought it was a good reason to miss his callup.

Any PALs got similar cases that made them furrow the brow somewhat ???, as i say i am in no way judging the reasons given by these men.

Best Regards


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You don't need to worry about appearing to judge them, Bob. It's a plain fact that many men tried to avoid getting called up. When conscription started in 1916, with the announcement that single men would be called up first, there was a really big increase in the number of weddings. Getting married was a legitimate way of going to the back of the queue.


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I read recently of a farmer who had six young single shepherds who were ' badged' i.e. given deferment for a year because the farmer told the local committee he needed to get his lambs in and they accepted that. That was in Scotland.

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