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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Military Service Act - Armbands


DoubleD
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Hope I'm posting this question in the correct section of the Forum.

 

I posted the attached photo on Twitter yesterday on the occasion of William Soutar's birthday. William is a celebrated Perth poet and an on-line Soutar Festival of Words took place last weekend.

 

I was asked about the significance of the armbands and had to admit that I didn't really know. I know that in 1916 the Military Service Act came into force and that men who met the prescribed criteria were conscripted for service, but I'm afraid that's it.

 

Would the armbands indicate that although they weren't in uniform they had signed up but hadn't been allocated a unit yet? Would it be fair to say that young men were open to criticism if they weren't in uniform? 

 

 

Many thanks,

 

Dave  

Class photo.jpg

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The arm bands are described as being 'khaki armlet with red crown' and are linked to the British Army Derby Scheme. These were produced for wear by volunteers for wear with civilian clothes to show that they were ready to fight if called upon.

Arm band.jpg

Edited by Allan1892
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Thanks very much to you both! Maybe the heading on the photo is a bit misleading. They would have been conscripted under the Military Service Act, but technically they’d already signed up anyway.

 

Three of the lads in the photo (Hood, Leyden and Gyle) lost their lives and William Soutar contracted Ankylosing spondylitis while serving in the Royal Navy. His father (a joiner) adapted the house as he became increasingly bed-ridden. The house is owned by the Friends of William Soutar Society and is still in its original condition. 

 

Thanks again,

 

Dave

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