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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Private to Officer in one go

John Gilinsky

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From time immemorial soldiers or mercenaries have been promoted to leadreship roles including officer's rank in the modern military lingo. However how common was this in ww1? I have come a across while skimming some Canadian war diaries that a private was promoted temporary Lt. in the front lines obviously by his commanding officer to fill out some subaltern shortage.

Does anyone have any other examples?

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Do you mean "in the field" or whilst still on home ground?

If the former, then several of the Manchester Territorial battalions made promotions in the immediate aftermath of the 4 June attack at Gallipoli.

If the latter, then it was extremely common for middle class men who had enlisted as privates to be very quickly discharged to commissions.


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