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Saturday 15 April 1916 - Decisions of appeal tribunal questioned

Category World War I: Labour issues/Military Tribunals
The Evesham Journal
Transcription of article



As was anticipated the decisions of the Worcestershire Appeal Tribunal at their sitting at Evesham last week, have given rise to a great amount of feeling in the district. This is especially strong among members of the central Advisory and Sub-Advisory Committees and of the local Tribunals, and it is also given expression to by the general public, more particularly among the attested married men.

The matter was discussed at the meeting of the Central Advisory Committee for South Worcestershire, held at Evesham on Friday. There were present Messrs. J. Ashwin (chairman), A.H.Gordon Duff, W.J.Gardner, G.B.Game, J. Sladden, and W. Gill Smith. Mr E.C. Cholmondeley was in attendance as military representative, and the Rev. W.C. Allsebrook and Mr H. Harris were present by invitation to represent the Badsey Sub-Advisory Committee.

Twenty-one claims were returned from Badsey with the following note:

“The sub-committee consider that it is unnecessary to differentiate between these cases as in their  opinion all of them are as strong as those in which the Appeal Tribunal has granted exemption, most of them much stronger. They therefore recommend that in every case exemption be granted, pending the revision of the findings of the Appeal Tribunal.”

Considerable discussion took place upon the whole matter, and reference was made to some of the cases, in particular to the dismissing by the Appeal Tribunal of the appeal of Mr Diston, of Hampton, a married man with seven children, while single men were exempted. One or two instances from the Badsey district were particularly mentioned.

Eventually Mr Sladden proposed, and  Mr Gardner seconded, the following resolution:

“That in the view of the action of the Worcestershire Appeal Tribunal, held at the Town Hall, Evesham, on the 4th of April,1916, upsetting the carefully-considered decisions of the Local Tribunals founded upon the local knowledge and careful inquiries of the Sub-Advisory and Advisory Committees, we cannot continue to devote our time to the consideration of further cases, especially as we cannot advise the enlistment of any married men while single men who ought to be enlisted are exempted wholesale.”

The resolution was carried unanimously, and copies were ordered to be sent to the Local Government Board, the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee (Downing-street), the Appeal Tribunal, the Local Tribunals, and to all the Sub-advisory Committees.

A hundred and twenty claims were returned to the Recruiting Office at Pershore without any recommendations whatever from the Central Advisory Committee.