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Remembered Today:

Release of POW's


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In the 6th DLI war dairy there is a curious reference to a Lt J A Stenhouse RAMC (he was 8th DLI but was part of the 6th/8th composite bn) . He went to France on 18 Apr 1915, was captured at Ypres on 26th Apr 1915 and released to be able to re-join the bn on 26th July 1915. He appears to have served out the war without problems.

He was reported missing on a Times list of 8th May 1915 and as POW on a list of 20th May 1915. He is listed in the Times of 2 July 1915 as having been repatriated (unwounded) along with a list of other men.

Was it usual for a man to be released so early in the war without any obvious signs of it being on compassionate grounds. Was it to do with them being RAMC ?.

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As this carries on from our earlier discussion, Im glad to see that he served out the war. Only a guess on my part, but surely an RAMC man would not be seen as a risk, and so considered to be safe to repatriate?

Regards

Sean.

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Only a guess on my part, but surely an RAMC man would not be seen as a risk, and so considered to be safe to repatriate?

That's what I'm curious about as presumably there must have been some sort of reciprocal arrangement.

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More than likely. I seem to remember reading that a lot of RAMC men were conscientious objectors? If so, then it makes sense that such an arrangement was practical, as there was no conflict of interest. Hopefully someone will be along to set the record straight.

Regards

Sean.

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  • 4 months later...

Although there is a continuing myth that the WW1 RAMC included a number of conscientious objectors, In 30 years study of COs I have yet to find a single example of this happening, On the contrary, I have found a number of examples of COs expressing interest in being accepted for the RAMC, but being refused.

Moreover, there were a number of men who volunteered for the RAMC in the period before conscription, on the basis that they felt they ought to do something but could not conscientiously engage in combat. Then in 1917-18 they found themselves being compulsorily transferred to the infantry, on the military "justification".that killing was more important than life-saving. When their representations were ignored, they began to refuse orders, were court-martialled and imprisoned.

For the record, I am also not aware of any WW1 CO becoming a PoW.

Early in WW2 a few COs were accepted by the RAMC, but then a policy was formally adopted of refusing any more COs, on the premise that there was a possibility of RAMC personnel ultimately becoming liable for combat, and it would be a logistical nighmare in an emergency to separate RAMC members guaranteed, as COs, a permanent exclusion from combat.

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