The Mayor of Newbury has been called up under the Military Service Acts

The Mayor of Newbury was likely to be called up, which caused consternation in the council. Obviously being a politician was more important than fighting.

12 July 1918

Present
C A Hawker, esq, Mayor…

The Mayor having left the Council [meeting], Alderman Lucas was elected to the Chair.

Alderman Lucas drew attention to the Mayor, Councillor C A Hawker, having been called up under the Military Service Acts to present himself for Medical Examination and stated that he had been graded 1 and was therefore liable to be called upon for Military Service.

The Council, in view of the manifold public duties in which he was and had been engaged, considered that it was in the public interest that he should continue to be so engaged and it was proposed from the Chair, seconded by Alderman Jackson, and carried unanimously,

“It having come to the knowledge of the Council that the Mayor of the Borough, Councillor Charles Adrian Hawker, has been medically graded, and is now liable to be called upon for Military Service:

Resolved that this Council, having regard to the manifold public duties in which he is, and has been for the past three years engaged as Mayor of this Borough, desire that the Mayor make application for exemption from military service, and that the Minister of National Service be requested to consent to his exemption.”

Newbury Borough Council minutes (N/AC1/2/9)

Advertisements

Medical Examination under the Military Service Act of 1918

Would the headmaster of Lower Sandhurst School have to be called up?

June 4th 1918
I was absent from School this morning having been called to Reading to undergo Medical Examination under the Military Service Act of 1918.

Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1, p. 438)

He “saved an officer’s life by carrying him on his back out of danger, under fire”

There was news of many Burghfield men, some of whom had performed acts of heroism at the front.

Honours and Promotions

We congratulate 2nd Lt Wheeler and his parents Mr and Mrs E C Wheeler on his promotion, he having been given a commission in the King’s Liverpool Regiment. His brother, T Wheeler, is now training as a Pilot in No 5 Cadet Wing, RFC. Cadet (ex Corporal) Alfred Searies is training in Scotland, having been recommended for a commission. He has been twice wounded, and has saved an officer’s life by carrying him on his back out of danger, under fire. The following are now Sergeants: E Cooke (5th R W Surrey), R J Turfrey (ASC< MT), E Wise (2/4th Royal Berks).

Casualties

E N Pike (killed in action), P C Layley (scalded), J Cummings, A Newman, and A Ware (wounded). W Butler, whose parents long lived in the parish, but have lately gone to Sulhamstead, is also wounded.

Discharges

Jos. West, ex 2nd Rifle Brigade (wounds); Herbert C Layley, ex 5th Royal Berks (wounds); Fred W Johnson, ex 2nd Royal Berks (heart); Isaac Slade, ex 4th Royal Berks and RE (heart); J D Whitburn, ex Royal Berks (rheumatism), just moved to Five Oaken. Arthur L Collins, in last magazine, should have been described as ex 5th Royal Berks.

Other War Items

Lieutenant Francis E Foster, RNVR, of Highwoods, who since the outbreak of war has been looking for trouble in the North Sea, has been rewarded by transfer to a quieter job further south, for the present. Lieutenant Geoffrey H B Chance, MG Corps (of the Shrubberies) is in hospital in Egypt, suffering from malaria.

Roll of Honour
Mr Willink thanks all who have given him information. He is always glad to receive more. It is difficult if not impossible, especially since the Military Service Act, to keep the Roll up to date.

Obituary Notices

The following death is recorded with regret.

Mr E N Pike, of Burghfield Hatch, son of Mrs Pike of Brook House, lost his life as above stated, for his country on 11th November, less than a week after returning to the front from a month’s leave which had been granted him to enable him to get in his fruit crop. An officer in his Battery writes: “In the short time that Gunner Pike has been in the Battery we have learned to appreciate him not only for his work but for the man he was”. He leaves a young widow and a little boy. He had good hopes of obtaining a commission in time.

Burghfield parish magazine, December 1917 (D/EX725/4)

An increasing number of discharged soldiers are suffering from tuberculosis

The County Council’s Public Health and Housing Committee had to face the problem of men sent home as they had been diagnosed with TB – a very infectious, often fatal illness.

Accommodation at Peppard

The question of providing additional accommodation at Peppard has been raised in view of the increasing number of discharged soldiers suffering from tuberculosis requiring treatment, and a prelimnary inquiry at Peppard, in conjunction with representatives of the Bucks County Council has been suggested.

Military and National Service

The Committee have considered the effect of the new Military Service Act (which provides for the re-examination by the Military Authorities of men discharged from the Army) and of the National Service Scheme, as regards men who have recently suffered from tuberculosis. There appears to be some danger of such men being taken into the Army or sent to unsuitable work, and a communication has been sent to the Local Government Board expressing the hope that the arrangement for not calling up men notified as tuberculous and men discharged from the Army on account of tuberculosis for further military service for a period of three years, would be confirmed – and extended with modifications to National Service.

Report of Public Health and Housing Committee, 14 April 1917 (C/CL/C1/1/20)

“A great want of confidence in Politicians, the War Office and the judgments of Tribunals”

Members of Reading’s Dodeka Club discussed the thorny question of conscription. The evening’s host was considering whether it was time for him to join up voluntarily.

The 282nd meeting of the club was held at Goodenough’s on March 2nd, 1917.

… Gibbons introduced a friend, Lt de Villiers…

…After refreshments the host suggested as a commencement for discussion the question of “National Service”, and pointed out that he personally was requiring advice as to the advisability of volunteering. The experience gained after the Military Service Act and the Derby Scheme gave one a great want of confidence in Politicians, the War Office and the judgments of Tribunals. The host feeling great doubt in his mind as to whether justice would be done to the great body of business men in the country.

Penfold started the ball rolling in the discussion, by asking if members were liable to prosecution under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, should any decision be arrived at, a military representative being present. Some discussion then took place regarding the action of Tribunals, the necessity or otherwise of National Service, compulsion and reduction of the number of shopkeepers. A very pleasant evening was concluded with some submarine stories of a rather fishy nature and a pun relating to Bagged Dads by Gibbons.

Dodeka Book Club minutes (D/EX2160/1/3)

A disservice to the state

The Reading School teacher who was a conscientious objector was keen to return to school – but would he be welcome back, when his headmaster was planning in joining up himself?

44 Marlborough Road
Hightown
Manchester

April 15, 16

Dear Sir

Will you please bring my case before the proper authorities?

I have written to Mr Keeton today in answer to a letter from him in which he says that he is informed that I cannot carry my case further and that he is justified in assuming that I shall not return next term to Reading School. I want to state that with regard to the first point he has been misinformed. The Military Service Act (Section 3) gives me the right to apply again to the Local Tribunal for a variation of my certificate of exemption from combatant service. I propose to take this course and I do not think it is right that any action should be taken by the Headmaster or the Committee until my case is fully and finally disposed of.

Should it turn out that I shall be allowed to remain my present employment I think it right for me to return to Reading School and I cannot see any greater disservice that could be done to the State at a time when the State is demanding National Service for all than to throw out of useful employment a citizen with a capacity for a certain kind of national service which is plainly service of national importance. I therefore appeal to the Committee and the Governors for a suspension of any action with regard to myself until my case is finally settled.

Yours obediently

R W Crammer

Letter to the Clerk to the Governors of Reading School (SCH3/5/50)

Conscription introduced

Florence Vansittart Neale records the passing of the Act which introduced conscription.

24 January 1916
Military service bill passed – very large majority.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Compulsion Bill carried

The Vansittart Neales of Bisham were busy with various war matters, as the government moved closer to bringing in conscription.

19 January 1916

Henry to Maidenhead District recruiting appeals – only 3. Refused all appeals. Not back till 5.

Engineers came & cut down tree on lawn, grubbed it up & left it tidy….

Percy Noble & young officer came to lunch. Latter rather too German!…

Compulsion Bill carried 2nd reading by majority.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)