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Query regarding service period for AIF fatality


Jonathan Saunders

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Jonathan Saunders

I have a 1917 AIF fatality I am researching and have his copy service papers from the Australian archive. This refers to 7 weeks previous service in the Royal West Kent's. He went to Australia around 1910, aged 21, so his entry in the West Kents would probably been between 1907 and 1910. Judging by his bravery (three wounds and a DCM) and the fact he was medically fit on 22 Aug 1914, it is unlikely he would have been discharged from the West Kent's as unfit. Was it possible to get out the army after such a short service? (presumably to buy himself out would have been a small fortune).

Any suggestions gratefully received!

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Being of that generation whose Father and Uncles served in the War,

a familiar saying used by them about one of my Uncles who joined in

the 1920.s was, when he wrote home " Sell the pig and buy me out"

not all that expensive.

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Jonathan Saunders

Thanks Cliff - I have always believed, although probably incorrectly, that there was a pro-rata of a sort on the cost of buying yr self out. That way as soon as you signed on the army or navy had you for at least half yr period of engagement before it was economically viable to buy yr self out.

I presume in the case of yr uncle the pig was deemed more valuable (!!) hence the repeated use of the expression.

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7 weeks is a very short period of time and would probably be a basic training period. If it's anything like now, a soldier would be free to leave (with the CO's approval of course!) anytime during this period (up to 6 weeks or 6 months depending on the unit)without having to purchase his liberty.

Two scenarios really. Either he didn't like the army or the army didn't like him!

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Signals,

By the Kings Regulation 1912 paragraph 392, there were a number of ways of getting oneself discharged.

However, per paragraph 392 (v). "Having claimed it on payment of £10 within three months after his attestation---At home or abroad"

Joe Sweeney

£

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This is one thing I've noticed in my research about men from Fremantle who served in WW1.

On the forms filled out by the Next of Kin of those who died there is a section that has 'Previous Military Service' and for quite a few men their families had listed them as having served in the British army or navy prior to their departure for Australia.

Cheers

Andrew

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Slightly in the future compared to WWI and I'm a bit vague on this one but here is another scenario.

I read (I think in either an edition of Medal News or a one of the OMRS Journals) a question which asked if any British troops had fought in the Vietnam War.

The answer was that there was only one man known to have served in the British Army and fought in the Vietnam War.

The man in question had been a Private and had a little service under his belt when due to severe family problems he was granted an honourable disharge but had to go into the Reserves. He moved to Australia with his family straight away and joined the Australian Army and was sent to Vietnam. He was killed in an ambush a little later.

So, it could be that he was discharged on compassionate grounds.

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Jonathan Saunders

Thanks to all for thinking about this and offering plausible answers.

Signals

ps Andrew I have seen that on forms completed by NOK (in this case it said my fatality had served in the RN) but on the Attestation Paper he had written "7 weeks Queens Own West Kent Rgt" - obviously his mother had been confused and it was in fact his brother (KIA 4 mths later) who served in the RN.

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