Ewhurst History Society

April 1916

Conscription

Conscription for single men aged 18 to 41 years old had been introduced in March 1916. Men (or their employers) who wished to avoid call-up could apply to a local Military Service Tribunal for exemption from service, which was usually on conditional or temporary grounds on the basis of essential occupations or physical fitness. For Ewhurst the local tribunal was held at Hambledon and the first cases started to be reported in the Surrey Advertiser in April.

On Saturday April 1916, the tribunal discussed the case of William Endersby, and whether he was fit to enlist -

“The adjourned case of William Hendersley [sic. Endersby], coachbuilder of Ewhurst was considered, it being stated that the recruiting medical board had examined him and said he was fit for sedentary work. Sir Josceline Woodhouse; Why don’t they say whether he is fit or unfit? You don’t want a soldier for sedentary work. A three month exemption was given and the applicant being an unattested* man, the case therefore adjourned for five months.”

*attested – The Derby Scheme for recruitment in the autumn of 1915 called on men to attest that they would enlist, but it produced too few volunteers and so conscription was introduced.