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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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I have posted something about my Grandad -William Reid under War in the Air. But really I am trying to understand the background to his story. If he was injured (and he suffered from a hatred of loud bangs all his life) in an explosion where all his pals died, would he have been shipped home to stay with his family in Glasgow or would the army have kept a closer eye on him?

How long would they have left him there before asking him to come back?

It seems he decided to join the RFC at some point. Would that have been as a civilian or did they specifically recruit from those recovering from minor injury?

Could he have refused to return to the front line? Or did they not recall soldiers that had been hurt to go back? Did they offer alternative jobs on the home front? He had been an apprentice to a dentist in Glasgow before the war - so I don't imagine a return to his old job would have been considered essential work!

There would have been so many like him; there must have been some kind of formal process?

Although I know a few brief things about his life in 1914-18, I'm trying to understand it against the common experience of young men from Glasgow at that time.

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Hi Stephen,

If wounds needed a longer term of convalesence then a soldier may have been returned to the UK, but soldiers were seldom hopialized near their homes or families, more often, at the other side of the country. It could be that your grandfather was not deemed fit enough to return to the front line and was subsequently returned to another unit, in this case the RFC. I doubt a soldier could refuse to go back without some for of disiplininary action. It could be that he was recruited by the RFC for ground duties.

Hope it helps,

cheers, Jon

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