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Guy S

How did a volunteer apply to join as an officer?

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Guy S

I am confused by the use of the word ‘commission’.  If somebody was offered a commission, does that mean they were accepted for officer training or that they had completed their training and qualified.  I’ve come across various references to men being offered or granted a commission and I’m unclear of the distinction between the two.  Also if somebody wanted to join as an officer rather than a private, what was the procedure for applying?

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ss002d6252
17 minutes ago, Guy S said:

I am confused by the use of the word ‘commission’.  If somebody was offered a commission, does that mean they were accepted for officer training or that they had completed their training and qualified.  I’ve come across various references to men being offered or granted a commission and I’m unclear of the distinction between the two.  Also if somebody wanted to join as an officer rather than a private, what was the procedure for applying?

Take a look at post #3 here but a lot depends on when in the war it was.

 

A man was not an officer until he had completed the process and was given the King's Commission.

 

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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nigelcave

You could be selected for officer training, but that is not the same thing as being commissioned, which only came/comes at the end of the process.

 

Selection for officer training was by a variety of means -a good deal of 'old boys' networking' would help,especially in the early months of the war, recommendations from battalion COs increasingly a the war progressed. It is far too big a topic to be covered in a  few lines.

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Dever Mayfly

The CO of the Inns of Court OTC (which commissioned over 10,000 officers in the WAR) recorded on 10 August 1914 "A significant departure from pre-war procedure appeared at this time in the shape of an advertisement in The Times and other papers, for 2,000 junior officers for temporary commissions in the Army.  I at once went to the War Office to ask why we had not been applied to, and found our existence had been overlooked." The IoC was the main way for Territorial Force officers to be trained and commissioned and their method was to use discipline as a means to an end, whereas for the Sandhurst method, which "put boys under the harrow", discipline was the end product.  After two years, the IoC was instructed by the WO to change to the Sandhurst method, given that they were training officers not to think for themselves, but to lead soldiers from trenches through the mud, across barbed wire entanglements in the face of concentrated machine gun fire. 

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Guy S
13 hours ago, nigelcave said:

You could be selected for officer training, but that is not the same thing as being commissioned, which only came/comes at the end of the process.

 

Selection for officer training was by a variety of means -a good deal of 'old boys' networking' would help,especially in the early months of the war, recommendations from battalion COs increasingly a the war progressed. It is far too big a topic to be covered in a  few lines.

Am I right in thinking that a trainee could only wear his officer uniform once his training had been completed?  I’m trying to date an old photograph of a relative displaying the rank of second lieutenant on his sleeve (one ‘star’ or ‘pip’ - I don’t know what the correct term is).  This relative is posing with a small group, comprising one captain sitting in a chair with one lieutenant sitting either side of him and two second lieutenants standing.  Would this be a kind of ‘graduation’ picture and would it have been taken on the same day that he was officially commissioned?  The relative was a volunteer and was ‘offered’ a commission in October 1914

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ss002d6252
4 minutes ago, Guy S said:

Am I right in thinking that a trainee could only wear his officer uniform once his training had been completed?  I’m trying to date an old photograph of a relative displaying the rank of second lieutenant on his sleeve (one ‘star’ or ‘pip’ - I don’t know what the correct term is).  This relative is posing with a small group, comprising one captain sitting in a chair with one lieutenant sitting either side of him and two second lieutenants standing.  Would this be a kind of ‘graduation’ picture and would it have been taken on the same day that he was officially commissioned?  The relative was a volunteer and was ‘offered’ a commission in October 1914

Can you post the picture ?

 

Craig

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Guy S

Unable to upload photograph on my device.  I’m still unclear - if somebody is “offered a commission” does that mean they have been accepted for officer training?

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ss002d6252
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if somebody is “offered a commission” does that mean they have been accepted for officer training?

I would say that they had been offered a place on an officer training course.

 

Craig

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