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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

SWB Query - Were they "back dated"?

Stephen Nulty

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I have a man, William Robert Vidler, whio served with the South Lancs from 1900 to 5th April 1916, when he was discharged under Para 392, xxi (Termination of Engagement). The discharge details are supported by his papers, confirming the date and reason

Yet he has an entry in the SWB rolls (see below), which I thought were confined to discharge through wounds or illness. Also, I thought the SWB only started being issued in September of 1916


Anybody come across this before?

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The rules in respect of who was entitled were altered a few times and each time there was a pulse of applications from men who had not originally been entitled when they were discharged but now were under the altered rules

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I've seen a few where the man was discharged at the expiration of his term of engagement (The period of commitment was a legal contract the Army had to honour even in wartime) but then was discharged for having failed a medical under the Military Service Act. It would be very easy after 1916 to imagine a man being discharged at the end of his term then immediately getting his MSA papers. In your case, his age was against him.

The text of Para xxi and don't forget the very common "Not likely to become an efficient soldier" of Para iii so it wasn't just for wounds or illness but being passed medically but not up to training caused a more than a few men to get an SWB.


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Thanks for the replies, gentlemen. Informative, as always

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