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Remembered Today:

call up, training, minimum age for going overseas


munce
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My grandfather was born on 28th July 1899, and I know that by 7 May 1918 he was serving with 2 Royal Scots in France. He would have hit 18 on 28th July 1917 - would that be the day he would have been called up? How long is he likely to have spent in training, and what was the minimum age for being sent overseas at that time (I seem to recall from somewhere it was 18 yrs 6 mths)? At the heart of these questions is when would he have been likely to have gone to France?

Many thanks,

Munce

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest merryrank

This isn't a reply I'm afraid, it's another question. I'm researching a young man who was in the 2/5 Sherwood Foresters. I believe that was a territorial battalion and I also believe that pre-1914 you could join at 17 (unlike a regular battn). Territorials weren't expected to serve overseas. In 1914 they were put on a war footing and could be sent abroad - as of course they were. My question is - would being put on a war footing mean the minimum age was upped to 18 at the same time? This young man got married in 1915 at the age of 17 but lied on his wedding certificate and put his age as 20. I thought he was just embarrassed about being so young but as he was already in the army at the time maybe it was to cover up lying about his age at enlistment. Any one out there able to help?

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This isn't a reply I'm afraid, it's another question. I'm researching a young man who was in the 2/5 Sherwood Foresters. I believe that was a territorial battalion and I also believe that pre-1914 you could join at 17 (unlike a regular battn). Territorials weren't expected to serve overseas. In 1914 they were put on a war footing and could be sent abroad - as of course they were. My question is - would being put on a war footing mean the minimum age was upped to 18 at the same time? This young man got married in 1915 at the age of 17 but lied on his wedding certificate and put his age as 20. I thought he was just embarrassed about being so young but as he was already in the army at the time maybe it was to cover up lying about his age at enlistment. Any one out there able to help?

Not quite correct Territorials could not be sent overseas unless they voluntarily took an overseas service oath I think the correct term was Imperial Service Oath (as a great many, but not all, did) Those who did not were not sent but kept in the UK as part of the home defences so not a case of being put on a war footing which meant that they ceased to be part timers rather than being liable for overseas service.

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My grandfather was born on 28th July 1899, and I know that by 7 May 1918 he was serving with 2 Royal Scots in France. He would have hit 18 on 28th July 1917 - would that be the day he would have been called up? How long is he likely to have spent in training, and what was the minimum age for being sent overseas at that time (I seem to recall from somewhere it was 18 yrs 6 mths)? At the heart of these questions is when would he have been likely to have gone to France?

Many thanks,

Munce

If it's any help, my wife's granddad was born on 17th July 1899 and was called up into full-time service on 18th August 1917 (aged 18 years and 1 month). He was posted to the 7/Border Regt and arrived in France in April 1918 (aged 18 years and 9 months). Given that he was only 11 days older than your granddad, I expect his story would be similar?

Dave

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During the emergency caused by the German March offensive in 1918 the minimum age for a soldier's service in France at the front was temporarily lowered by 6 months provided that he was deemed to have received sufficient training.

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I have exactly the same story as Dave. Great uncle turned 18 in October 1917, enlisted Nov. 1st, France June 1918, killed Aug.29th 1918.

Hazel

My grandfather was born on 28th July 1899, and I know that by 7 May 1918 he was serving with 2 Royal Scots in France. He would have hit 18 on 28th July 1917 - would that be the day he would have been called up? How long is he likely to have spent in training, and what was the minimum age for being sent overseas at that time (I seem to recall from somewhere it was 18 yrs 6 mths)? At the heart of these questions is when would he have been likely to have gone to France?

Many thanks,

Munce

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Purely from memory (and if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct like a flash) but 19 was the age for entering a theatre of war in 1917 but this was dropped to 18½ during the emergency of the March 1918 offensive (but later raised to 19 again) I think you were liable to be called up any time after your 18th birthday but in a pre computer, pre digital age it didn't automatically happen as soon as you blew the candles out

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Purely from memory (and if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct like a flash) but 19 was the age for entering a theatre of war in 1917 but this was dropped to 18½ during the emergency of the March 1918 offensive (but later raised to 19 again) I think you were liable to be called up any time after your 18th birthday but in a pre computer, pre digital age it didn't automatically happen as soon as you blew the candles out

According to Van Emden's book, you are correct.

H

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Most of the questions in the OP are answered on the LLT http://www.1914-1918.net/recruitment.htm

It is perhaps also worth noting that after Third Ypres many men were held at home for political reasons however as noted above following the losses incurred in the German Offensive in March 1918 these men were swiftly shipped overseas. As no service number or name is given for your gf (so we can't look at similar soldiers whose records may have survived) it's only possible to make a general assumption that as with post 4 he was probably sent overseas in April. The war diary would probably note drafts arriving at the Battalion.

Ken

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It is perhaps also worth noting that after Third Ypres many men were held at home for political reasons

LlG thought that the decisive blow would come in 1919 and wanted to ensure that the British army was still big enough to ensure that Britain didn't have to take 2nd place to the USA at the peace conference.- see "The strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition" by French

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