LONDON-L ArchivesArchiver > LONDON > 2009-02 > 1235758958
From: "Lesley Chaney" <>
Subject: Re: [LON] Conscription WW1
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 18:22:38 -0000
Many thanks for that clear explanation. It tells me that my grandfather,
Ernest TITLER (1878-1942), a Camberwell man, was a volunteer as he enlisted
in February 1915. I had often wondered.
My grandfather served in REME and came home badly shell shocked. When the
Blitz started in 1940 he went to pieces and was dead in 18 months from
bladder cancer. I regard him as a WW1 casualty. I have his Soldier's Small
Book and cap badge but only one of the three medals he was entitled to. He
told my aunt (his youngest daughter) that he got it "for being silly". That
now makes much more sense.
Behalf Of Mike Shingleton
Conscription was introduced by the Military Services Act of 27th January
1916 and all voluntary enlistment ceased. Initially it applied only to
single men and widowers aged 18-41 but a second Military Services Act
passed on 25th May 1916 extended it to married men. It effectively
classified all eligible men as reservists and rendered them liable to be
called up for service. The second Military Services Act also removed a
number of exceptions from the first Act; men previously discharged due
to ill health or termination of service became eligible once more as did
those who had previously volunteered but had been rejected.
Men were split in to classes according to their year of birth with class
1 those born in 1897 going up to class 23 for those born in 1875. They
were then called up by class.
Men were informed by public proclamation and by personal notice. Under
the terms of the Act a man was required to make himself aware of the
proclamations and present himself when his class was called up.
Penalties existed for those failing to do so.
A number of exemptions and exceptions remained primarily those men in
'starred' occupations, but also men serving in Holy Orders,
conscientious objectors and cases where serious hardship would occur.
Exemptions were considered by local tribunals based on registration
districts, together with appeal and central tribunals.