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1916 Conscription Tribunal Cards

Article about: Hello Gents Taken me a while to post this, I found it some time ago on the farm! the first few pics are simply an ID card and the envelope it came in (mint condition) for the 1915 national r

  1. #1
    Reg
    Reg is offline
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    Default 1916 Conscription Tribunal Cards

    Hello Gents

    Taken me a while to post this, I found it some time ago on the farm! the first few pics are simply an ID card and the envelope it came in (mint condition) for the 1915 national registration act, requiring all men of soldierley age to register, a pre-cursor of conscription.

    When conscription was introduced (I think in early 1916, but please correct me if otherwise) men in a reserved occupation had to go before a tribunal to plead the case against being conscripted, agriculture being one of those occupations deemed essential to the war effort, the man in question was a "cowman" a higher grade than simple farm labourer and therefore valuable on any farm.

    The first "certificate" was from a tribunal dated 13 march 1916 and held in the nearby Derbyshire rural town of Belper, sorry for the now customary terrible pictures, but the writing next to the exemption class is "absolute"!!!

    Compare this to the certificate issued by the same tribunal (indeed signed by the same man) on 19 October 1916, and ill transpose the exemtions. "Temporary till 1st day of march 1917...Conditional...That your employer inform the mandatory representative of any further labour bought in on that farm"

    then below that...

    "Also that you drill once a week with the local unit of the Derbyshire regiment of volunteers"

    So quite a few proviso's bearing in mind that the army had lost huge ammounts of men recently on the Somme.

    The last pic is of a military medical card dated 7 June 1918, so presumably they got him in the end, he was listed as grade 2.

    Alfred Brelsford died of a heart attack in the mid 1950s in a cowshed. I know nothing of his presumably brief military carreer, although I have a 1940 dated army knife with his initials carved into the handle.

    Hope you find this as intresting as I did, the difference a few months and the blooding of a volunteer army can make hey?

    Kind regards
    Reg

    (now lets hope I get the pics in the right order)
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  2. #2
    OKW
    ?

    Default Re: 1916 Conscription Tribunal Cards

    I think that the 1915 bit is from the Derbyshire Act which gave men the option of registering for military service so that they would then be taken in order of priority, single men below a certain age first, then above that age and then married men etc rather than a blanket conscription which would have swept everyone in. A lot of man still evaded this registration scheme, the initial volunteer rush for Kitcheners new army having died away in the face of the casualty lists from France and Flanders and Galipolli. There was an armband issued to those who registered, red with a crown i believe, to prevent the white feather presentation by old ladies to those still in civilian clothes. My grandfather was also a cowman and seems to have been trawled up in similar circumstances. How big is the farm? If part of a large estate it makes you wonder if strings weren't pulled among the local worthies to keep their employees, the worthies sitting on the exemption panels.

  3. #3
    Reg
    Reg is offline
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    Default Re: 1916 Conscription Tribunal Cards

    Hi OKW

    I think you could well be right with the local "old boy" type network, I dont know how large the farm was or if it was part of an estate im afraid as the one he ended up on where I found the forms was about ten miles away from the address in 1915. Being a rural place and everyone knowing everyone (and owing and returning favours) etc...

    Things dont change that much in these places planning applications seem to have taken presidence over reserved occupation tribunals

    Cheers

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