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Phil Wood

Derby Scheme or Conscripted?

27 posts in this topic

When I research men joining the colours in mid 1916 I often ask myself the above question - usually without being able to get close to an answer!

 

Howver, I am currently looknig at a married man who, according to his obituary, joined up in June 1916 at the age of 39.  This is perfect timing for his Derby Scheme age group (44).

 

It seems to me to be a bit too early for consciption of any married man, let alone a 39 year old? Would I be safe in suggesting he was a Derby Schemer?

 

Is there a schedule of when they began calling up each class? 

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ID: 2   Posted (edited)

24 minutes ago, Phil Wood said:

When I research men joining the colours in mid 1916 I often ask myself the above question - usually without being able to get close to an answer!

 

Howver, I am currently looknig at a married man who, according to his obituary, joined up in June 1916 at the age of 39.  This is perfect timing for his Derby Scheme age group (44).

 

It seems to me to be a bit too early for consciption of any married man, let alone a 39 year old? Would I be safe in suggesting he was a Derby Schemer?

 

Is there a schedule of when they began calling up each class? 

 

There was a list somewhere but I can't see it, I'll keep looking.

 

He was certainly within the age limit for the MSA - the marriage exemption was removed in May 16.

 

Who was the man ?

 

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252
corrected

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This is the one, an excellent piece of work by carolm Click

 

Mike

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2 minutes ago, Skipman said:

This is the one, an excellent piece of work by carolm Click

 

Mike

 

That covers the Group Scheme (as does the LLT) - but not the Class system under the MSA (Clases 1 to 25 seemingly without distinguishing between single and married men). My assumption is that they would have called up younger men ahead of older.

 

I would also asume that the call up would be akin to the Group Scheme and that there would be a month's notice - making it very unlikely that any married man would join the colours in June 1916, let alone a 39 year old, because married men did not become liable to conscription until the MSA was amended on 25 May.

 

Craig - The man is Private 23394 Charles James (Charlie) Waldron, 7th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment died 9 May 1917 in Salonika, reportedly by friendly fire.  Buried at Doiran. Married with a wife,, 7 young children and a widowed mother to support. I cannot find a service record but I have found cenuses, medals, soldiers' effects, obit, etc etc. His father served 20+ years with the 45th Foot and his brother died in Pietermaritzberg in 1903 while serving with the RAMC. 

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Phil,

 

He could just have been a volunteer.

research into my family members has shown a married man of 30 being mobilised in late May 1916 and another married man age 38 in September 1916.

I conclude that your date of June 1916 does not fit the group scheme or MSA.

 

regards

 

Alan

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ID: 7   Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Phil Wood said:

 

That covers the Group Scheme (as does the LLT) - but not the Class system under the MSA (Clases 1 to 25 seemingly without distinguishing between single and married men). My assumption is that they would have called up younger men ahead of older.

 

I would also asume that the call up would be akin to the Group Scheme and that there would be a month's notice - making it very unlikely that any married man would join the colours in June 1916, let alone a 39 year old, because married men did not become liable to conscription until the MSA was amended on 25 May.

 

Craig - The man is Private 23394 Charles James (Charlie) Waldron, 7th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment died 9 May 1917 in Salonika, reportedly by friendly fire.  Buried at Doiran. Married with a wife,, 7 young children and a widowed mother to support. I cannot find a service record but I have found cenuses, medals, soldiers' effects, obit, etc etc. His father served 20+ years with the 45th Foot and his brother died in Pietermaritzberg in 1903 while serving with the RAMC. 

Just checked some newspapers

All married men under 41, as of 24th June 16,  were given a months grace under the MSA from that date. They had until the end of the month, 24th July, to report for service or have an appeal underway etc.
 

If he joined up prior to 24th June 16 he did so entirely voluntarily, after that date the notice had already been issued to report for service.


Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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He was enlisted before conscription would have got him.

 

#23393 was allocated on 20 June 16 to a Derby man
#23395 was allocated on 20 June 16 to  a conscript

 

I think it's probably relatively safe to say that #23394 was allocated on 20 June 16 and that he was a volunteer - possibly a Derby man.


Craig

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3 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

All married men under 41, as of 24th June 16,  were given a months grace under the MSA from that date. They had until the end of the month, 24th July, to report for service or have an appeal underway etc.

 

I'm pretty sure they didn't have to report for service until they had been issued with call-up notices - I have researched a case where three brothers all ignored such notification. I would have thought the months grace was to appeal and thus, perhaps, avoid the automatic 'deemed to have joined the Reserve' that happened for single men in March.

 

2 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

He was enlisted before conscription would have got him.

 

#23393 was allocated on 20 June 16 to a Derby man
#23395 was allocated on 20 June 16 to  a conscript

 

I think it's probably relatively safe to say that #23394 was allocated on 20 June 16 and that he was a volunteer - possibly a Derby man.


Craig

 

So the argument is that as it was before 24 July a married man joining on 20 June had to be a volunteer - makes sense to me.  Thanks.

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ID: 10   Posted (edited)

This mirrors the same situation with both my Grandfathers. My maternal GF, William Mead 51148 RF, was called up in July 1916. He was a married man of 40 years of age, 41 in August, with 3 children. I have often speculated whether he was Derby Group man because of his age and the MSA amendment of 25th May. I should also add in that he had previous military experience  serving 3 years in the 3rd Battalion Bedfordshire Militia.This thread almost confirms my thoughts on his very early call up

My paternal GF, Frederick Davie 33489 KSLI, was a Derby Scheme man, as confirmed in a KSLI thread of a few years ago having attested in Liverpool December 1915. He was called up in April 1917 aged 36, also with 3 children.The only caveat is that as a ships printer on ocean going passenger ships might have had some bearing on the date of his call up, or would it have done?

I have to agree with Phil Wood, in that, I also don't think that they would have been called up until they received their call up papers. I am sure the the sight of hundreds of thousands of potential conscripts descending on their nearest depot would have sent the whole system into meltdown.

Edited by Donald D

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ID: 11   Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, Donald D said:

This mirrors the same situation with both my Grandfathers. My maternal GF, William Mead 51148 RF, was called up in July 1916. He was a married man of 40 years of age, 41 in August, with 3 children. I have often speculated whether he was Derby Group man because of his age and the MSA amendment of 25th May. I should also add in that he had previous military experience  serving 3 years in the 3rd Battalion Bedfordshire Militia.This thread almost confirms my thoughts on his very early call up

My paternal GF, Frederick Davie 33489 KSLI, was a Derby Scheme man, as confirmed in a KSLI thread of a few years ago having attested in Liverpool December 1915. He was called up in April 1917 aged 36, also with 3 children.The only caveat is that as a ships printer on ocean going passenger ships might have had some bearing on the date of his call up, or would it have done?

I have to agree with Phil Wood, in that, I also don't think that they would have been called up until they received their call up papers. I am sure the the sight of hundreds of thousands of potential conscripts descending on their nearest depot would have sent the whole system into meltdown.

The months 'grace' the newspaper is referring to appears to be either the months notice that was given before they had to report for service (the month running from June 16) or the month between the MSA session 2 being passed in May and the notices being issued at the end of June.

 

The men would have been deemed to have entered the class b reserve with effect from May 16 under the MSA session 2 but it gave the army a month to get sorted with the paperwork etc and then give the months notice of call-up at the end of June.

 

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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This report is from the Scotsman, if it's any help.

 

28/1/1916  " Proclamations are now being posted calling up the third batch of Derby recruits, Group 10, 11, 12, and 13, which consists of bachelors from 27 to 30 years of age. They receive the customary month's leave between the posting of the proclamation and the drafting to their depots, which latter work begins on February 29th. This makes 12 Groups now called up. Numbers 2-5 have already been sent away for training and 6-9 come up on the 8th February. It may be pointed out that claims for exemption should be lodged with the clerk of the Recruiting Tribunal not more that ten days after the posting of the proclamation. "

 

Mike

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I'm not too sure how many men would have become available to conscript after May 25th, but I would have thought it would possibly run into many thousands. I still think that to have this many men possibly to conscript would be a very big task so there obviously needed to be a system of call up, which there was. This had to be phased to cope with the training facilities existing in July 1916. Due to the numbers being called up from September 1916 the training regime was altered from Regiment based reserve battalions to training reserve battalion.

I think to literally take the newspaper interpretation as being that from the end of June 1916 everybody eligible, and classified as being in the class B reserve, were going to be instantly called up is stretching credibility.

To further emphasise this I took the example shown on LLT of the procedure for call up under the MSA. A notice paper to be sent to men under the MSA was sent to George Slater of Ripon. From the 1911 census he was living in Ripon with his widowed mother. He married in June quarter 1913, which is why the 1911 address is different from the w 3236 notice sent to him. This required him to report to the recruiting office in Ripon on 26th October 1916. From the census age of 26 this would make him 30 or 31. According to BMD he had a son in September quarter 1916. So it can be seen that although he would have been eligible for call up in July 1916 he was actually conscripted in September 1916. So, it would appear that to cope with the numbers even married men with a family were being phased in, rather than called up wholesale. Therefore I think it fair to say that any married man called up in June or July would probably have been volunteers (Derby Scheme men).

 

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Just to clarify.  Charles Waldron was born in 1876 (I have now found his dob, 21 Dec, which was registered in Q1 1877), which would be Derby Scheme group 45.  The last groups (42 to 46) were issued call up notices from 13 May 1916 to report for duty in one month (ie 13 June).

 

I would be amazed if this meant that every member of those groups was expected to turn up on the same day, some spreading of the load must have occured - so it seems to me that his enlistment on 20 June (inferred from Craig's discovery about the numbers either side of his) could well be via the Derby Scheme.  As shown it is too early for conscription.

 

The other option, that he decided to pop along and volunteer on a whim, doesn't seem right - although I can imagine life in a small terraced house with his 82 year old mother, pregnant wife and six kids under 14 might have been a bit stressful. He would have known that conscription was imminent and I suppose he might have wanted to pre-empt it in order to serve with the local regiment (was this an option?), but I don't really see a chap in his position volunteering in that way, not for an infantry regiment.

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I'm not too sure how many men would have become available to conscript after May 25th, but I would have thought it would possibly run into many thousands.

After 25th May every single man in the country between 18 and 41 was automatically enrolled in to the Class B reserve so there was no immediate dash to do anything.


You can see the effect later in 1916/17 with a lot of 18 year olds and the dates they were called up - some quite quickly after their 18th , some two or three months later. The army had some plan in place to balance manpower needs (you can see a spike in call-ups in August 16 - presumably to cover the losses of July 16). In June/July 16 roughly 250,000 men were called-up.

Craig

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The other option, that he decided to pop along and volunteer on a whim, doesn't seem right - although I can imagine life in a small terraced house with his 82 year old mother, pregnant wife and six kids under 14 might have been a bit stressful. He would have known that conscription was imminent and I suppose he might have wanted to pre-empt it in order to serve with the local regiment (was this an option?), but I don't really see a chap in his position volunteering in that way, not for an infantry regiment.

The western front sounds like the less stressful option.

As far as I'm aware the Derby man could indicate a preference but obviously it was subject to needs at the point of call-up.

Craig

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Can anyone tell me when a single man born in 1888 (MSA class 10) would have been called-up please.

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17 minutes ago, duncanharrington said:

Can anyone tell me when a single man born in 1888 (MSA class 10) would have been called-up please.

Mobilized 29 Feb 1916

 

http://www.1914-1918.net/derbyscheme.html

 

Craig

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Hi Craig,

 

Thanks. However, from what I've read, the Military Service Act 1916 became law on 27 Jan 1916 and said that all men aged 18 - 40, other than those with exemptions, would be deemed to have enlisted on 2 March 1916 and were then called-up in classes. I thought that only Derby Scheme men were called up in February 1916? What I'm trying to find is the call-up date for Class 10 men conscripted by the MSA who were, presumably, called-up in batches after 2 March. Have I got this wrong?

Duncan

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Folks, a very brief aside (sorry): this discussion has perfectly illuminated the circumstances of a relative's enlistment (d.o.b. 1877 and married, enlisted June 1916) - many thanks to all who have contributed.

 

Cheers, Pat.

 

 

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Glad the thread has been of help Pat. What it has higlighted is the confusion when looking back from 100 years on at the system put in place by the MSA.

 

Obviously there was not one size fits all approach, once a man accepted his elligibility (if necessary via tribunal appearances) then he was called up at the War Office's whim. I am coming to the conclusion that there was no clear group scheme in operation.  Men would be called in for a medical - those fit for the front were perhaps more likely to get a prompt call than the less fit regardless of age.  And it seems to me (from men I have researched) that men who had appealed against conscription were called up pretty much as soon as their final appeal failed or temporary exemption expired.

 

As they had so many men to call up, perhaps more than they could cope with did they apply any rationalle to the call up - for instance waiting util the harvest was in before calling up agricultural types? Or call up clerks ahead of factory workers etc? I suspect not, but . . .

 

And I am a little confused by the rapid call up of lads following their 18th birthday - given that it took about 6 months to train them and they couldn't be sent to the front until they were 19 I would have waited until six months after their birthday to send them their papers.  That said it bore fruit in 1918 when the age limit was lowered by six months - were they anticipating this?

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On 12/08/2017 at 18:00, duncanharrington said:

Can anyone tell me when a single man born in 1888 (MSA class 10) would have been called-up please.

 

Notices to men in Class 2 to 12 ( men born between 1886 and 1896) ordering them to report for service commenced on March 3 1916.  They were ordered to report on various dates up to March 17th.  If they did not receive a notice they were obliged to report to their nearest recruiting office on the 17th March, unless their appeal for exemption was not decided by that date.

 

Ken

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Thank you all for the above. I am much clearer now - I think. LOL. My relative died on the Somme on 27 September 1916 and I was uncertain whether he volunteered at the last moment before voluntary enlistment was ended on 27 January 1916, or waited to be called-up. From the above, and given a six-month training period - there would barely have been time for him to be called-up around 17 March, undergone six months of training (he was an artilleryman so training was longer than for an infantryman), and still have reached the Somme in time to be killed on 27 September 1916. Therefore he cannot have been a conscript and must have been a volunteer.

 

Cheers guys.

 

Duncan

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1 hour ago, duncanharrington said:

Thank you all for the above. I am much clearer now - I think. LOL. My relative died on the Somme on 27 September 1916 and I was uncertain whether he volunteered at the last moment before voluntary enlistment was ended on 27 January 1916, or waited to be called-up. From the above, and given a six-month training period - there would barely have been time for him to be called-up around 17 March, undergone six months of training (he was an artilleryman so training was longer than for an infantryman), and still have reached the Somme in time to be killed on 27 September 1916. Therefore he cannot have been a conscript and must have been a volunteer.

 

Cheers guys.

 

Duncan

 

 

If you use Craigs's calculator and soldiers effects it will you tell you quite accurately when your relative enlisted thus eliminating the guesswork.  You can see the link below his signature in his posts.

 

If you don't have access to Ancestry for soldiers effects but post his name/number and I'm sure someone will tell you.

 

Ken

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1 hour ago, kenf48 said:

 

 

If you use Craigs's calculator and soldiers effects it will you tell you quite accurately when your relative enlisted thus eliminating the guesswork.  You can see the link below his signature in his posts.

 

If you don't have access to Ancestry for soldiers effects but post his name/number and I'm sure someone will tell you.

 

Ken

 

Craig's calculator is a useful tool (I use it often - thanks Craig), but it won't help in this instance as there was a minimum gratuity for up to a year's service - so the gratuity cannot be used to distinguish between 1 and 12 months service.

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