Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

What happened between Attestation & Mobilisation ?


Recommended Posts

On 22/11/2019 at 13:06, Bordercollie said:

Extract courtesy of FindmyPastCAS.png.75626fab377cdefa954589e24e29a0fe.png

 

Not sure I have noted exactly where in this thread on enlistment/mobilisation he was Derby Scheme Group 1 - other than probably by his date year of birth but as others have already hypothesised for a farm labourer perhaps in 1916 getting the harvest in later that year was considered more important as war effort than becoming a soldier earlier in the year in the eyes of a possible tribunal and/or the Army.

 

But you will probably have also noted on this extract Group 17 (Leather ??????) - this would have been his Industrial Group for demobilisation "Group 17 = Other leather trades" - so possibly/probably (as many farm labourers of the time must have been) much involved with farm horses and their tack - not unknown for demob trade groups to be a bit morphed to suit post-war aspirations which were different to a pre-war occupation.  Often seems based on skills learn in the forces during the war.  Many a soldier wanted to be a 'Chauffeur' as he had learnt to drive during the war.  Perhaps moving on/up in your GF's case too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Keith Brannen said:

Here is a very interesting post, which details a farm labourer in a similar position as your grandfather:

 

Keith.

GF would not have been 19 until 3/5/16, 6 weeks after the Group 1 mobilisation date of 28/3/16, so could this be the cause of an initial deferment ??

 

The carolM post is a good find, and the fact that GF could have been contracted to the farmer (I was unaware that contracts existed in those days) is a good possibility for continued deferment. (I hope to confirm this when I get to see the Tribunal records)

 

Thanks for your continued interest.

 

Michael.

 

11 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

But you will probably have also noted on this extract Group 17 (Leather ??????) - this would have been his Industrial Group for demobilisation "Group 17 = Other leather trades" - so possibly/probably (as many farm labourers of the time must have been) much involved with farm horses and their tack - not unknown for demob trade groups to be a bit morphed to suit post-war aspirations which were different to a pre-war occupation.

 

Yes, I saw the change of occupation, but being a novice at this I assumed that this change happened between attestation and mobilisation, due to the fact he probably had no horses to look after (requisitioned by army) so he had to change jobs. The best we (everyone I asked) could come up with is "Leather Tinter" which is a leather manufacturing job. There was a leather tannery about 1/4 mile from his home at that time.

 

However, after the war he returned to the same farm, and continued to work there, he got married in 1923, set up home with his wife, and was still there in 1927 when my Aunt was born, finally moving to their first family home in 1930. So it appears that the change of job never happened.

 

Is there a list of demob groups, similar to the LLT Derby Groups ??

 

Thanks for your continued interest & for educating me.

 

Michael.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agricultural work = In John Starling and Ivor Lee's "No Labour, No Battle" [about the Labour Corps - a detailed read if you get interested in the wider war effort - it was not all about fighting!] they note that the winter of 1915/16 was the coldest and wettest for many years.  This caused severe problems for agriculture, not least as c.25% of its labour had been lost to military service.  The Cabinet, War Office, Board of Agriculture, Count War Agricultural Committee and local Employment Exchanges were much challenged by this.  In 1916 lower medical grade trained soldiers were actually sent by the Army to work on the land at the request of farmers/land owners - not all soldiers were reported as suitable for such agricultural labours.  An experienced farm labourer would have been of great value.  I think farmers even supported appeals by men in order to keep them on the land for as long as possible so as to get in the harvest of 1916. Under such circumstances it is quite easy to see probably why after attestation in 1915 a delay in mobilisation to late 1916 might be undertaken, without or notwithstanding any possible appeal., and your GF would probably seem a likely candidate.  Not shirking at all - and anyway, then he went on to serve with respected fighting unit.

 

It is also interesting to note that in 1917 the Labour Corps went on to create specific Agricultural Companies consisting of low medical grade soldiers, and even those recuperating from wounds/illness, to try and release fit men for combat and to fill the voids sadly created by the fighting elsewhere in 1916 - but that LC is another story all together in the above book - agriculture was a very important part of the war effort.

 

Edit: I have to admit that, not having access to your GF's service record, I cannot be sure about Group 17 being his Demob classification - perhaps it was his at mobilisation after all, but given the above I would perhaps err/have erred toward demob [or aspiration at least].  Look elsewhere in his SR for his demob papers for other possible clues..  In my own family a soldier's original occupation has been later changed on early paperwork - to reflect both his pre-war description and post-war aspiration I think [he got it].

 

Demobilisation [you do seem keen on the wider picture too] I suggest Michael Senior's "The Soldiers Peace" is another interesting read - a quite remarkable effort to get so many demobilised so quickly.  Initially demobilisation was intended to be according to trades in demand etc. , but this did later change to a 'first in, first out' policy.  Not sure how this affected your GF's demob as have not got access to his service record [just off the bottom edge of one of the above abstracts I think - To Class Z Army Reserve ...].

 

As for your GF's post-war aspirations - perhaps he was fed up with a cold and wet outdoor job so thought leather tinting or the like would be better - Don't know if it is such a terribly, terribly smelly job as leather curing [I suspect it may be if he was looking at a local tannery, agriculture can be that way too of course!] but maybe he thought change of job was desirable, perhaps better paid, but it seems it did not happen.  Best laid plans and all that! ;-)

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
addition
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the book recommendations, will look into them once I have "sorted" his deferment out.

 

GF was in hospital in the UK at the end of the war, until 14th December, and his demob date was 3/3/1919.

 

The local tannery was still there in the 1970's, and I still recall the smell and remember pinching my nose every time we passed it, awful smell, surely horse manure was far less of an assault on the senses than the smell from the tannery.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MERLINV12 said:

Is there a list of demob groups,

Yes - it's in the Solders Peace but I found in this one too - "British Demobilisation Plans" - an american viewpoint of a plan that didn't go to plan in the end = not demobbed according to trade - but First in / First out in the end. The group list was not intended to be a list in order of priority for demob.  You will note that "Agriculture" is Group 1 for demob - so potential for confusion with Derby Scheme Group 1 ???

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1014410?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents  

 

1 hour ago, MERLINV12 said:

Thanks for the book recommendations, will look into them once I have "sorted" his deferment out.

 

GF was in hospital in the UK at the end of the war, until 14th December, and his demob date was 3/3/1919.

 

The local tannery was still there in the 1970's, and I still recall the smell and remember pinching my nose every time we passed it, awful smell, surely horse manure was far less of an assault on the senses than the smell from the tannery.

They are both very detailed - so steady reads rather than swift ones - but I found them fascinating

 

3/3/1919 was quite early for many demobs, don't know if it was due to his health or his occupation [certainly a lot earlier than my relative who was demobbed in 10/1919 in good health but a "Commercial" Group 37 - As a clerk he actually ended up demobbing many others before himself - but then again late in]. 

 

I agree about horse manure -v- tannery - former so much better.  Pigs and chickens can be especially smelly though!!

 

Or the leather money might have been better than agriculture and an incentive to try for it!!!

 

 

Edited by Matlock1418
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 23/11/2019 at 09:03, Coldstreamer said:

A good read is "The serjeant major - the biography of RSM Brittain". Not always a Coldstreamer but he was for many years (rom around 1918/19 i think) . Served WW1 (at home) and well after ww2


Hi Ian,

 

I’ve read the book. From what I understand from CG of my father’s vintage Tibby Brittain wasn’t well thought of as “wartime” RSM 1st CG BEF 39/40 hence his posting to Holding Battalion March 1940. Too Regimental for wartime service........more suited to a training role.

 

Steve

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, MERLINV12 said:

 

Keith.

GF would not have been 19 until 3/5/16, 6 weeks after the Group 1 mobilisation date of 28/3/16, so could this be the cause of an initial deferment ??

 

The carolM post is a good find, and the fact that GF could have been contracted to the farmer (I was unaware that contracts existed in those days) is a good possibility for continued deferment. (I hope to confirm this when I get to see the Tribunal records)

 

Thanks for your continued interest.

 

Michael.

 

 

Yes, he would not have been issued a mobilization notice until after his birthday in May (usually was a month's notice). Have no idea when he would have received it, whether before, around, or after his birthday. It was then that, probably from his employer, a deferment was requested. So I would think that it would have been in May or June that it was put before the Tribunal.

 

I was also was unaware that farm labourers may have been under contract. 

 

Good luck on finding a Tribunal record, would be nice to get confirmation on this interesting topic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

An update on GF's deferment, after the war the government ordered all tribunal & appeal documents to be destroyed (apart from two official sets), however a few areas didn't do as instructed.

 

So there is good news and bad, Northamptonshire (GF's county) were one of those who didn't, and some 14,594 papers still survive, however none of the "Local Tribunal" (town level) papers survived, only the "Appeal" (county level) papers, so unless the person appealed nothing can be found. The appeal case papers date from Jan 1917, so too late for GF :(.

 

The surviving papers are available on FMP, and searches will reveal dates before Jan 1917, but these just refer to lists of appellants, not the actual case papers.

 

Please note that the above details refer to Northamptonshire ONLY,  some records for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Middlesex, and Surrey also survived, so you may be luckier.

 

Several of GF's local newspapers had dedicated "Tribunal" sections, however the individual's name remained anonymous, on occasions occupations and/or employers were revealed.

 

So my quest to find why GF was mobilsed 7 months late under the Derby Scheme will remain a mystery, unless anyone has any suggestions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...