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More on war exemption


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#1 Marion Lewis

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 10:41 AM

Relocating this thread from 'Uniforms' section - Granddad wasn't in the War.

Granddad had just started a career in the film industry before the war, and it has been suggested that this might have been a reason he didn't fight. Is this likely to be the case? If so, what sort of things were the men involved in to justify their exemption? Granddad was a cameraman later on, although I don't know if he had progressed that far by the war, having been a bioscope operator in 1913.

What other occupations gave people exemption from overseas service, please?

Is it true that flat feet ruled men out as they wouldn't have been able to cope with a lot of marching? If so, couldn't they have been redirected to services where marching was not going to be likely, such as the Navy?

Marion

#2 CarylW

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 11:17 AM

Marion

I'm not at all knowledgable on the subject but I replied to someone the other day who asked about War exemptions regarding the Military Tribunal hearings that took place because I noticed that local newspapers have these Military Tribunal for war exemption cases in full and the official records themselves were later destroyed in 1921.


I don't know anything about anyone in the film industry being exempt (I saw your query in another thread and see that Alfred Hitchcock was exempt) I wonder if your grandfather had to go before a Military Tribunal? if so try the local newspapers. All those who claimed exemption were sent before a local tribunal, appointed by the local council, to have the sincerity of their claim assessed and it seems that local newspapers are now the only source of these records (only a few others survived in record offices) Maybe someone else will reply to you with regards to the film industry exemptions

My grandfathers were exempt because one was a foreman on Gladstone Docks and the other was a riveter at Cammell Lairds - my husbands grandfather was an Ag Lab and they were exempt.

Found this notice in the Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald

County of Caernarvon Notice to Farm Hands

The Military Service (Review of Exceptions Act 1917 empowers the Army Council to call up for Medical Examination men who have been rejected for Military Service or discharged . Men engaged in Agriculture whose work is of National Importance are excluded from the Act. Any men so engaged who recieve Stautory Order Army Form W 3479, should return the form to the Recruiting Officer with the certificate on the back of the notice filled in stating that he claims not to be able to have the notice sent to him on the ground that he is engaged in Agriculture and that his work is of National Importance


I've also come across other newspaper notices stating other various occupations as being automatically exempt from the Military Service Act(s)

In the newspaper I mentioned there are Military Tribunal cases in full including cases where the editor of the local newspaper tried to claim exemption for several of his employees, printers overseers, linotype operator and junior reporter, (The tribunal only granted conditional exemption to the overseer, the rest had three months and one month exemption) ...it's possible that your grandfathers employer claimed on his and others behalf, if he wasn't automatically exempt

There is more about the Military Tribunals in this National Archives page
Here

I'd like to know more about this subject too


Caryl

#3 BeppoSapone

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 11:21 AM

QUOTE (Marion Lewis @ Feb 4 2006, 10:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What other occupations gave people exemption from overseas service, please?

Marion


Any at all.

The employer had the right to claim exemption if, in his view, the man could not be replaced. Of course, the Military Representative on the Tribunal would not agree with any exemption at all, so not all managed to get away with it.

From memory, I read of an employer claiming that a man not be called up on the grounds that he was a key man in his civilian occupation. He was the one that knew the formula for "Ronuk", which was a floor polish "much used in military hospitals".

The funniest one, one that I have mentioned in this forum before now, was the claim from the owner of a firm of gents outfitters in Brighton. He said that all of his male shop assistants, except one, were in the forces, and had been replaced by women. He requested that his final male shop assistant be exempt from military service because he was essential to the business. He was the last member of staff who could take gentlemens inside leg measurements. rolleyes.gif

#4 Tony Lund

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 11:38 AM

I have just read about a plasterer being exempted because he was behind with routine whitewashing of the walls in several mills. Four of his five men had gone to the army, he said; “You have to keep your workplaces clean to keep your workers healthy.” He was granted exemption. Most of the Military Tribunal members were prominent citizens, which around here meant mill owners. One lad with one dead brother and another missing in action who later proved to be dead, was given temporary exemption from service three time during the period his brother was posted missing.

Local need and family circumstances can play a big part. Also if the Military Representative objects to the decision to give exemption he can appeal to the District Tribunal and ask to have the exemption overruled. It seems to be a lot more complicated than a simple list from London saying who is in or out. If you spend a couple of hours with the old newspapers at the library you will find plenty of cases from 1916 onwards.

Tony.

#5 CarylW

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE
The funniest one, one that I have mentioned in this forum before now, was the claim from the owner of a firm of gents outfitters in Brighton. He said that all of his male shop assistants, except one, were in the forces, and had been replaced by women. He requested that his final male shop assistant be exempt from military service because he was essential to the business. He was the last member of staff who could take gentlemens inside leg measurements.



That is so funny! do many ladies even today do that task? would they be allowed?


Regarding that case I mentioned above of the newspaper editor claiming exemption for his staff including a reporter, here is a bit more about it (it does go on in some length)

...The Military Representative explained that the government were clamouring for young men in Class A . He went on to say that at local tribunals he had noticed there were often three or more reporters, taking down exactly the same notes, and supplying the newspapers with which they represented with precisely the same 'copy'. Could not some arrangement be made to pool the reporting work of the newspapers in order to release the junior reporter, seeing that bis classification was so high?
Mr Abbot (the editor of the Herald) said he thought not, as all the newspapers in town were competitors. Why should newspapers be singled out for pooling, more than lawyers, doctors drapers, grocers or any other trade competing in the same town. The idea was absurd.
Dr Parry: Doctors are pooling
Mr Abbott: Where?
Mr R.J George: How many have you now employed altogether at your office including yourself?
Mr Abbott: Eleven
And before the War?- I think about twenty-eight

Mr Abbot said that unless they were allowed to retain a minimum mechanical and literary staff they could not possibly be able to get out their papers . Without reporters, news could not be gathered, and without linotype operators papers could not be printed . He, therefore hoped that the tribunal would grant exemptions applied for in view of exceptional circumstances in which they were placed

DECISION OF THE TRIBUNAL
The tribunal decided to grant conditional exemption to the overseer, three months (open) exemption to the linotype operator, and as the other linotype operator was at the sanatorium they could not deal with him in any way. One month (open) was granted to the junior reporter


Here is another one regarding brothers

A HARD CASE

Evan ..... of ..... ..... (I've left the name and address out) a single man 18 years of age, in Class A asked the tribunal to re-hear his application for exemption - Mr Nee who apeared on his behalf told the tribunal that one of the applicant's brothers had been killed in action in France, and another brother was missing. Mr Nee contended that it was a very hard case, and told the tribunal that the applicant's father was very depressed since he had receieved the news of the fate of his sons. Conditional exemption was asked for and Mr Nee submitted to the tribunal a petition signed by fifteen neighbours of the applicant asking the tribunal to give the case their careful consideration - An Aunt of the applicant said that the family had done their share and appealed to the tribunal to exempt her nephew conditionally - Conditional exemption was granted



Caryl

#6 CarylW

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 12:24 PM

Another one from Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald May 18th 1917. Military Tribunals

T Roberts, single 18 yrs of age, Class A, described as smith's apprentice in the employ of his father, Mr Owen Roberts, Ty'r Lon Smithy Pontrug - Temporary exemption for two months on the grounds of national interests : no further appeal without leave -
Mr T W Henwood who appeared for the father submitted a petition signed by 89 local farmers who declared that it was necessary in the national interests that Roberts should be allowed to remain in his present occupation . Among those who signed the petition were the two assessors for the district under the County War Agricultural Committee


Are these of interest to anyone?
Could we start a collection of War exemptions from Military Tribunals from newspapers somewhere? Here?
Since the official records were destroyed might be the only chance some people have to find this information?

I find them very interesting and maybe like me and Marion who wondered why some of our ancestors were exempt might be a good resource and explain a lot of things?

In this paper I have the Military Tribunal cases cover a whole page of a broadsheet so I could go on indefinitely

Caryl

#7 Marion Lewis

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 01:49 PM

A huge project, but very useful, I would think. I have also noted the huge amount of information - including photographs - about the men who did go to fight that is in our local paper and have wondered about indexing it so that people can know where and when to look.

The people creating the FreeBMD project and other related ones must have occasionally doubted whether their vision would come to fruition, and look how useful that is. How to organise it all is another matter - organisation is not my strong point.

Marion

#8 gporta

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:21 PM

QUOTE (CarylW @ Feb 5 2006, 03:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are these of interest to anyone?
Could we start a collection of War exemptions from Military Tribunals from newspapers somewhere? Here?
Since the official records were destroyed might be the only chance some people have to find this information?

I find them very interesting and maybe like me and Marion who wondered why some of our ancestors were exempt might be a good resource and explain a lot of things?


Caryl,

I think the idea's great (twill be an awful lot of work, tho'). SDGW gives details of those who lost their lives, but not about the larger amount of people who survived. Even the NA online WW1 medals research resource will list those who served abroad, but will miss those in training, home duties, etc wo were not sent overseas... so whatever further source of information will be a great help.

(BTW, I recall going through some WO records, while looking for information about OTCs during the period, and they held records, correspondence, reports on school teachers who asked to be exempted. I should have to find the reference, though, which is lost in a boxfuls of cluttered notes).

Gloria

#9 DCLI

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 11:31 AM

My great grandfather was a Head Master and exempt, but he was so much against the war and caused such a lot of trouble he ended up be locked up in Dartmoor.

#10 GRUMPY

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 12:19 PM

Cambridge University Library, Official Publications Section, holds a vast amount of material in piece 1100.6.016.

I have the official Circulars for three dates: 19 Nov 1915, 7 July 1916, and 26 September 1918.

The lists are vast : too vast to scan for the site: it is a wonder anyone was left to serve in the army.

I can find no reference to the film industry at any of these dates.

#11 Old Jack

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 12:55 PM

Hello -
My reading of the local paper would suggest that being the gamekeeper, kennel man or hunts man to upper class landowners was a pretty handy way to win exemption from a tribunal. And a local aristocrat claimed for the man who was the “last male servant in the house”.
She liked having a man in the house “for security.”


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#12 BeppoSapone

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 12:59 PM

QUOTE (Old Jack @ Mar 7 2006, 12:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hello -
My reading of the local paper would suggest that being the gamekeeper.....a local aristocrat claimed for the man who was the “last male servant in the house”. She liked having a man in the house “for security.”
Old Jack


His name wasn't Oliver Mellors by any chance? biggrin.gif



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