WWII British Draft process?

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Toby123, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    Steve Tee. Your Dad effectively joined a 'retained' type of reserve - The territorials were civilians volunteering to train to serve if required. They got (and still get) their 'bounty' and payment for training and skills courses which were provided under King's Regs. however they were not considered 'With the Colours" until 'Mobilisation'.

    Army form E635 is the individuals notification that the unit had been mobilised and they were to report for duty - they were in the Army now, not part time. The formal time and place goes back to this being an actual muster and for them to march off to war. In most cases in the 2nd World War there was a day or two's grace whilst they located strays and finished admin. - such as changing from reserve stores to regular. Not turning up was a breach of terms and could be considered desertion.

    There is a Transfer from the Regular Reserve equivalent.
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  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It happens to all of us! The Second World War situation probably isn't quite as complex as the First, but there's still plenty of scope to get caught out due to different numbering approaches.
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  3. Toby123

    Toby123 Researching FEPOW, 2nd Cambridgeshire Regiment

    Very interesting, thanks!
  4. Toby123

    Toby123 Researching FEPOW, 2nd Cambridgeshire Regiment

  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Toby, if I were you I would pay a visit to a library that holds copies of past local & national newspapers.

    The overriding instrument, the National Services (Armed Forces) Act 1939, paved the way for 18 - 41 year olds to serve, but the process and timetable can be more difficult to establish.

    Communication to the masses was however covered thoroughly in newspapers, and as different age groups became liable to register, the details were published. Papers also covered, fairly comprehensively, conscientious objectors, reserved occupations and the employment safeguards for men who were called up. Plenty of detail there to get all the facts.
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  6. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    In 1939 all households were required to fill in details of all occupants.These records are now publicly available.This gave the War Dept a record of all men of an age to be conscripted but those in reserved occupations were not required to fight unless they volunteered to do so.I have a copy of my father's call up papers dating from 1940.These instructed him to report to a certain Regiment for basic training.
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  7. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I have read through this and associated threads and am still unclear as to how the Government knew who to conscript. The answer is not in the1939 Register alone. The Register was compiled on 29 Sep 39 but did not include any already serving (ie: Regulars, Reserves and those who had already volunteered). The Military Training Act 1939 had already called up a tranche of 20-21 year olds in June. How had these been identified?. Was there an Act that legally required all in certain age groups to register?

  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    The National Service (Armed Forces) Act was the vehicle imposing the liability of conscription on 18/41 year olds, implementation was via various orders/proclamations signed by the King.

    On 1 October 1939 a proclamation was signed calling for men of 20 and 21 years of age, not already registered under the Military Training Act, to register at their local Ministry of Labour Office, they had to attend, without fail, on Saturday 21 October. The timing was alphabetical.
    A-B surnames between 12 & 1
    C-F between 1 & 2 etc.

    They had to bring their National Registration identity card and give their preference for army, air force or navy.

    Following registration they were 'invited' for a medical examination after which they awaited the call up letter to arrive. Similar proclamations were made over the next months gradually extending the age range, the process was similar.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  9. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  10. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tony. Much clearer now.

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  11. Toby123

    Toby123 Researching FEPOW, 2nd Cambridgeshire Regiment

    Would it be possible to see a copy opf your father's call up papers - either posted here or via email. I'd just like to see the exact wording of the document. My father was born on 10th February 1918 in Hackney - so preumably the right age for the very first round of call up? He enlisted on 18th Jan 1940 into the 2nd Cambridgeshires in Ipswich. Thanks for the info.
  12. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  13. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Toby, Am away from home at present but happy to post on my return.
  14. Blanket Stacker

    Blanket Stacker Junior Member

    To start with a bit of background, in the first world war you could join either the Regular Army, the Territorial Army, Kitchener's new army or later be conscripted. These all had different terms and conditions of service so made their admin and demobilisation process a bit of a nightmare. In order to simplify things in the next war all enlistment into the Regular Army ceased when the Army mobilised on 1st September 1939 and subsequently everyone, volunteer or conscript, was enlisted into the Territorial Army.
  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    I’m no expert but having looked at the Scots Guards service papers on Findmypast there are numerous examples of men enlisting voluntarily on regular army terms of service (4&8) after 1st September 1939.

    The Coldstream Guards enlistment books on Findmypast also show volunteers enlisting on regular army terms of service as late as 1943 (probably until the end of the war) and being allocated CG regimental numbers (rather than GSC numbers) and going straight to the Guards Depot rather than a Primary Training Wing.

    Perhaps (as ever) The Brigade of Guards did things differently?:salut:


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