Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

1916 Conscription Eligibility Records - Centralized or Local?


chas69

Recommended Posts

Was a master list or census of who was to be considered for conscription ever produced at national or local levels? The local Magistrates records show some applications for deferment or exemption but I am hoping there was some sort of list of who else was eligible in the first place or was actually conscripted.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Admin
16 minutes ago, chas69 said:

Was a master list or census of who was to be considered for conscription ever produced at national or local levels? The local Magistrates records show some applications for deferment or exemption but I am hoping there was some sort of list of who else was eligible in the first place or was actually conscripted.

Each area, at least initially, held a copy of the local registers which were compiled in the first instance from National Registration Act 1915 and then updated going forward. It may have later been centralised.

Craig

Link to post
Share on other sites

Following on from Craig- I think it is a false assumption to think that such a listing was held in one place only.  The listings seem to have been regional at the beginning of conscription in 1916 and when the Derby Scheme men reported in late 1915 and were posted to the Army Reserve. This seems,at first, to have been on the basis of the normal "command districts". In London (wot where I am) the London-wide listing seems to have been centered on the London Territorial Force Association in London Wall, which appears to have kept a London-wide register.

   It is noticeable that the initial call-ups of both Derby Scheme men and conscripts in 1916 seem,for me, to get posted to Army Reserve but for other London units away from a man's local area or nearest recruiting office.  Of course, these "postings" were purely notional -just to get the regimental clerks working hard to deal with it all. 

   As the older men came in the system seems to change- Men are posted directly to the regiments in which they actually served.  Also, when men reported after call-up from the Army Reserve the same happened. It is very noticeable indeed when comparing,say,1915 with the second half of 1916 that there is no attempt at all to keep up the pretence of local loyalties- Thus, it is the older men-coming in after waves of single and/or younger conscripts who tend to end up far from home.

   Obviously, the command districts cooperated- so a command district would have the main set of records. Copies of this would have to be at the recruiting office where men were told to report on call-up.  

    At some stage-certainly before Summer of 1917, local authorities became a guardian of these sorts of registers as well.  That is when work began on compiling the "new" electoral registers, based on the 1915 register (for which the cut-off date was-conveniently-31st July 1914) with additions and corrections done by a local authority on the doorstep. A local "Absent Voters" register for 1918 held locally (Epping Division, Ilford) is very illuminating on this point of what lists were kept. It seems a very easy scheme when one reads the listing of the "Group Scheme" and call-up based on age and marital status. On the ground,it was a nightmare. What the Military Service Acts skate over is the number of men- especially in the older age groups who were exempted because they were on war work for someone else other than the Army- eg-say, a 45 year old plumber working at a RN shore base somewhere in East London.. A glance at the Ilford Register shows the huge number of odds and sods who were doing something else. Thus, as manpower strained, I suspect that local authorities took on a greater responsibility of maintaining lists of who was doing what,as the 1917-1918 register meant they had to do the donkey work anyway.

    That local authorities got more involved across all forms of service-military and industrial- they seem to have become the main focus of relations between the War Office and army administrators v keeping a watching eye. 

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...