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Conscription age extension from 41 to 51 in 1917


JOSTURM
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I read somewhere that this happened, I don't know when in 1917, the law was changed, and how men over 41 years of age were conscripted - was it random, or did they conscript ex-military men first or did they take single men first, or those without families ? Both of my grandfathers were volunteers and in their late teens, but one great grandfather, a Bermondsey warehouseman and ex Border Regiment infantryman, was 49 years old in 1917, but i don't think he was called up, but don't know for sure. Another two great grandfathers were both GPO telegrpahists aged 43 and 40 years old respectively, but I don't think either joined the forces. Perhaps certain professions were exempted.

I would love to know more about this, and how many men over 41 years old were conscripted between the start date in 1917 and the Armistice.....

Many thanks

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How likely would it have been that my great grandfathers would have been called up in 1917 and 1918 please ?

Henry Walton aged 40 in March 1917 and a GPO Telegraphist from Walworth. married with 4 children aged between 9 and 17.

George Sturmer aged 43 in March 1917 also a Telegraphist from Lambeth married with one son of 19.

John Leonard aged 49 in March 1917 a warehouseman from Bermondsey ex Border Regiment 1889-1901, married with two children aged 16 and 18.

Thanks

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For clarification the Military Service (No 2) Act 1918,which among other provisions extended the age limit to 51, was enacted in April 1918.

Ken

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Yes, the raising of the upper limit of call-up from age 41 to 51 was in 1918, not 1917.

If a man aged 40 in 1917 had not yet been called up, the raising of the age in 1918 would make no difference. His work as a telegraphist could have been deemed more valuable than anything a man that age could do as a soldier.

A man aged 43 in 1917 would have been above the limit in 1916, but would have been under the new limit in 1918. Whether he was called up would partly depend on his overall fitness for some behind the lines work - he would not have been considered for front line duties.

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During the war several thousand women were employed by the Post Office and 'indoor telegraphy' was one of those occupations that it was deemed could be done by women as a substitution for previously employed men, so they were unlikely to be exempt on the grounds of occupation, but there were other grounds on which exemption could be sought.

If not fit enough to serve overseas then they would not be entitled to any medals. I was fortunate in that a 'roll of service' exists for my family's home town and lists all those who served, either at home or overseas but I think you would be lucky to find a similar list for South London.

Ken

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