Conscription exemption

Discussion in 'WWI (1914 - 1918)' started by AnnB, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

    Offline
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    14,575
    Location:
    North Devon, England
    My friend's grandfather was granted exemption from conscription in the last couple of years of WW1, although he did have to keep reapplying. The reason given was that he was classed as C3. The newspaper report of his being granted exemption reads that he was "a cotton cloth-looker (sedentary work at home), single C3". I have discovered that this would have been something to do with a medical condition, but I can't find what sort of condition this might be. Any ideas?
     
  2. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

    Offline
    Messages:
    3,416
    Likes Received:
    5,726
    Location:
    London, England
    Amle and AnnB like this.
  3. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

    Offline
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    14,575
    Location:
    North Devon, England
    Thanks for that Christel. I've had a read through and it's very interesting, especially as it was written by someone who was involved. It still doesn't really answer my question. I can see that C3 means that a person was only fit for sedentary duties, and that they were supposed to 'free from serious organic disease', so, I am presuming they were more likely to have a physical disability such as being unable to walk properly, maybe due to have had something like polio? I don't suppose I'll ever discover what this chap had wrong with him, but whatever it was, he remained exempt for the duration of the war.

    Thanks again :)
     
    mugwortismy cat likes this.
  4. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    1,139
    Likes Received:
    7,908
    Location:
    Owen Sound, Ontario
    It seems strange that he had to keep reapplying. I wonder if it was a physical limitation that they felt could improve and therefore he could go to war. My late father-in-law tried to enlist in WWI here in Canada( unknown to his parents :eek: ) but they found he had hearing loss so sent him home! He did not have to be re-tested every year once he was of age.
     
    AnnB likes this.
  5. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

    Offline
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    14,575
    Location:
    North Devon, England
    Looking at the papers of the time, there were hundreds of men, just in Rochdale where this chap came from, who kept being called up and then appealing against being conscripted. Some had the request turned down immediately, others were given a length of time before they would be served with call-up papers again. This chap had 4 older brothers all serving, so I think the powers that be thought his family were doing their bit.

    It did cross my mind that he might have some disability which was considered ‘curable’ but C3 seemed to be the class which those who were unlikely to be classed as soldier material were given.
     
  6. Amle

    Amle Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    1,269
    Location:
    Sutton, Surrey
    AnnB have you checked the local newspapers, as I have relative from Somerset who had to go before a panel to get his exemption. I haven't got all the details to hand but I remember that there were about a dozen men who were applying, some were exempted others not. They all had different reasons, my relative was said to be the only son working on his elderly parents farm. The panel gave him six months which was to enable him to get the potato crop harvested. This was all recorded in the paper. The next record I found was his death the following year 'Killed in Action'. I was glad I had found the newspaper article though. At the time I wondered was he avoiding the call up but afterwards I thought not.
     
    AnnB likes this.
  7. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

    Offline
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    14,575
    Location:
    North Devon, England
    Yes, Amle, my first port of call, as always ;)
     
    Amle likes this.
  8. Doug

    Doug Administrator. The Main Man. Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    3,795
    Location:
    Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, Australia
    No mention of illness on the 1911 census now that they are showing that information?
     
    AnnB likes this.
  9. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

    Offline
    Messages:
    8,190
    Likes Received:
    29,543
    Location:
    Orange, NSW Australia. The Colour City.
    From what I can gather is that 'C' meant free from serious organic disease but able to stand service conditions in a garrison at home.
    C3 meant Sedentary Service at Home Camps.
    But had to reapply for exemption as he may have eventually improved enough to be sent overseas.
     
    AnnB likes this.
  10. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

    Offline
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    10,993
    Location:
    NSW, Australia, ex Chelmsford Essex
    When I had a pre conscription medical in 1955 I was told that for my height I was underweight, I tried not to show it but I was so pleased, then they said but we will pass you. :nailbiting:
    What I didn't know was, had I been earmarked for an infantry regiment instead of the REME, I would have been sent to a physical training camp and built up, I don't think i would have enjoyed that, I had already been warned by friends that the army Physical Training Instructors are a bunch of sadists. :)
     
    AnnB likes this.
  11. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

    Offline
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    14,575
    Location:
    North Devon, England
    No Doug, he was a 14 year old cotton weaver in 1911, so I think he may have had an accident or something in between then and and the outbreak of war. After the war, one of his brothers badly injured a leg when a crate of bobbins fell on him, so maybe something similar happened :(
     
    Doug likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice