Ewhurst History Society

March 1916

March seems to have been a quite month as nothing as reported for Ewhurst in the Surrey Advertiser.

Military Service Act

The Bill which became the Act was introduced by Prime Minister H. H. Asquith in January 1916. It came into force on 2 March 1916. Previously the British Government had relied on voluntary enlistment, and latterly a kind of moral conscription called the Derby Scheme.

The Act specified that men from 18 to 41 years old were liable to be called up for service in the army unless they were married, widowed with children, serving in the Royal Navy, a minister of religion, or working in one of a number of reserved occupations. A second Act in May 1916 extended liability for military service to married men, and a third Act in 1918 extended the upper age limit to 51.

Men or employers who objected to an individual's call-up could apply to a local Military Service Tribunal. These bodies could grant exemption from service, usually conditional or temporary. There was right of appeal to a County Appeal Tribunal.