Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:59 pm
In one word "yes". The difference being there was no "reserved occupation" scheme regarding mineworkers during the early part of the Great War and I believe the problem wasn't resolved until 1916. The Durham coalfield for instance had that many men enlist during 1914/15, that most mines had to reduce their shift systems from three to two, as most of the mines were left being manned by old men and boys. Nor were enlisted miners returned to their work once it was found there was a manpower shortage and they remained enlisted until possibly wounded or sick in which case they were returned to their former occupations.
It seems to have been a lesson learned and during WWII, the UK Government placed "coalmining" high on the list of reserved occupations, my own Grandfather being one of those, who volunteering to enlist into the Army in 1939 was refused permission to enlist and returned to minework. The exceptions being men on the Army Reserve and Territorials who were mobilised.
Local newspapers in mining areas are a good source of information as to the situation within the industry, if you wish to make a more detailed study.