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Remembered Today:

44 year old Special Reservist


Ian McCallum
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Help! Enlightenment needed please.

My man signed on at the end of August 1914 as a Special Reservist aged 44. He signed on using Army Form B248 Special Reserves (One Year's Service). I thought max age for Reservists was 42 and that the commitment was for six years. Any suggestions, explanations appreciated. 

 

Cheers Ian

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4 minutes ago, Ian McCallum said:

My man signed on at the end of August 1914 as a Special Reservist aged 44

= Where did you get his age from?

If not off the Form - then perhaps he 'blagged it' and conveniently 'lost' a few years.

Source of age may be important here

And others may be able to answer much better than me.
:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Hi. Thanks for the reply.

 

His age is absolutely bang on.

He enlisted first in 1879 aged 19. Did seven years colours and five in reserve. He was recalled for South Africa 1899-1902. Signed on with Volunteers for one year 1904-05. 29 August 1914 signed on aged 44 years and 20 days. Army Reservist (Special Reservists)One Year's Service form. He did almost one year in Flanders with Royal Scots before being transferred to ASC. He was demobbed April 1919 aged almost 50 years. 

Ian

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13 minutes ago, Ian McCallum said:

His age is absolutely bang on.

OK - seems like it is over to others!

;-) M

 

Edit: Sorry to press the point.  Was his age [44] on the re-enlistment form?

Discharge ages are generally much more accurate than early voluntary enlistment ones [ie. and notably enlistments before MSA]!!

Edited by Matlock1418
edit.
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We crossed - Please see my edit

:-) M

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Sorry. Yes his age on the enlistment form is 44 yrs and 20 days. It is also bang on with the rest of his military records.

 

Ian 

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1 minute ago, Ian McCallum said:

Yes his age on the enlistment form is 44 yrs and 20 days. It is also bang on with the rest of his military records.

As I wrote = over to others!

Good luck.

:-) M

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Official age limit of 42 confirmed on Long Long Trail

A former regular soldier who had completed his Army Reserve term could also re-enlist as a Special Reservist and serve up to the age of 42.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/enlisting-into-the-army/british-army-reserves-and-reservists/

 

I have researched another ex regular who aged 40 joined the SR in August 1914.  He was a former Serjeant losing his rank during first part of service in India due to drunkeness, but by mid 1915 was a CSM with a Service battalion on the Bedfordshires. 

 

Maybe as with the rapid promotion of this man, it is simply a case of the armies need for experienced ex soldiers outweighing the "official" age limit.

Edited by travers61
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Hi. Thanks for the reply.

 

Yes I know the first couple of months were pretty chaotic. Although only a private soldier, he was quickly (Sept 1914) posted from 3rd (Reserve)Bn. Royal Scots at Weymouth to the 13th *Service) Bn. Royal Scots then  training at Aldershot. He remained with them until March  1915  before being posted to 1st Bn Royal Scots in Flanders. Almost exactly one year after signing on he was transferred to the ASC. 

 

Ian

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An Army Order issued on the 21st August 1914 allowed former regular soldiers to enlist in the Special Reserve for one year, or the duration of the war.  If the war ended in less than one year they would be released immediately. (Exceptions were made for certain duties e.g. hospitals, clerks who may be detained longer as needed, but no more than six months). The soldiers enlisting were warned they may be drafted to Service units if found fit when the occasion arises.  The conditions of enlistment were ex soldiers must have served in the Regular Army for at leas one year and been discharged with a military character of not less than ‘fair’ be not less than 30 or more than 42 years of age, and be otherwise eligible in accordance with the Regulations.

 

On the 29th August a second AO extended the age limit to 45 years and for NCOs who had held thank of Sergeant  to 50 years.

 

I imagine the second AO was recognition of the need, and the demand of those eager to return to the colours.

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1 hour ago, travers61 said:

Maybe as with the rapid promotion of this man, it is simply a case of the armies need for experienced ex soldiers outweighing the "official" age limit.

I suspect the rapid promotion reflected his previous service and experience/skills etc.

I have an ex-Regular [fully 12 years served - then into the police] Great Grand Uncle who went pretty much from Pte straight to Sgt on being reenlisted - Not quite as old [He didn't serve overseas but trained new Kitchener recruits instead - presumably he needed the authority of the new/higher rank for this role]

As for a bending of the rules - I too suspected this was possibly the case - but really for others more experienced in such matters to comment.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
correction of service
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6 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

On the 29th August a second AO extended the age limit to 45 years and for NCOs who had held thank of SergeNt to 50 years.

Knew someone could likely properly explain

:-) M

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Hi.

 

Thanks for your reply. I think that about fits the bill. I take it since he was still soldiering on at 49 years of age and only a A/Cpl additional Army Orders amended the age limits? He was a butcher to trade and ended up after some time at a Training Reserve battalion, at the Personnel Supply Depot at Aldershot, presumably training butchers.

Thanks again. 

Ian  

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4 minutes ago, Ian McCallum said:

He was a butcher to trade and ended up after some time at a Training Reserve battalion, at the Personnel Supply Depot at Aldershot, presumably training butchers.

Seems highly plausible.

Thanks for posting - as all such enquiries are a 'school day' for me.

:-) M

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You and me both. I am constantly amazed at the depth of knowledge on this site and the willingness of people to help.

Ian

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3 minutes ago, Ian McCallum said:

Hi.

 

Thanks for your reply. I think that about fits the bill. I take it since he was still soldiering on at 49 years of age and only a A/Cpl additional Army Orders amended the age limits? He was a butcher to trade and ended up after some time at a Training Reserve battalion, at the Personnel Supply Depot at Aldershot, presumably training butchers.

Thanks again. 

Ian  

They enlisted for one year or the duration of the war the age limit only applied to enlistment, not discharge. As you say he seems to have been employed in his civilian trade. In fact the Military Service Act. (No 2) Act 1918 (April) extended the upper age limit for conscripts from 41 to 50 and allowed for the extension of the upper age limit to 56 and the cancellation of most exemptions ‘if the need arises.’

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