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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

A Better Class of Chaplain?


Roy Evans
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Looking at the 1914 Army List for the 1/6th South Staffords I note that they had two Chaplians;

Rev A Penney MA

Chaplain (3rd Class)

and

Rev A Pratt MA

Chaplain (4th Class)

Can anyone tell me what this class structure involved?

Roy

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It was roughly equivalent to Army Ranks :

Chaplain-General (CG) = Major-General

Deputy Chaplain-General (DCG) = Brigadier-General

Chaplain to the Forces 1st Class (CF1) = Colonel

Chaplain to the Forces 2nd Class (CF2) = Lieutenant-Colonel

Chaplain to the Forces 3rd Class (CF3) = Major

Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class (CF4) = Captain

A Captain was the norm at battalion level.

Steve.

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Excellent! Thanks Steve.

Roy

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By and large, if you find a chaplain buried in a cemetery in F&F, it will be Fourth Class. I was a bit taken aback when I first saw it, thinking that it seemed a bit much to dismiss the poor man as being fourth class. It struck me that he was below second class! However, first, second and third class chaplains rarely got into the front line, whereas those who were 4th class were the sort who were most likely to share the conditions of the men. It reflects their jobs, rather than how good, or bad, they were at their job.

Bruce

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  • 4 weeks later...

Chaplains, incidentally, are not "promoted", they are "advanced in class".

Got that from a very nice retired Chaplain whom I know who has shared a mine of information with me. He retired as a CF1.

If I recall correctly at one time the departmental advancement was partly length of service based, but this was scrapped, possibly during WW1. There is a mention of it in "The Army Chaplain" by Rev P. Middleton Brumwell but I have loaned my copy out.

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Bruce and Matt,

Thanks for your replies.

Roy

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