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World War One service exemption
in Britain

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The following certificate of exemption from military service in the First World War is courtesy of Gwen Nelson and refers to her grandfather, Frederick Alexander Ireland.

The certificate is part of a larger document which was presumably an application for exemption from military service. Frederick clearly tore off the decision - the part that mattered - which showed that he was exempted. The remainder of the document has not survived.

Several interesting points can be gleaned from the certificate:

Certificate of exemption from Military Service in the WW1, UK.

Certificate of exemption from Military Service in the First World War.

The certificate was issued by a Local Tribunal. Presumably its location was in the missing part of the document. However the the use of the term Local Tribunal suggests that the document was, in fact, a national one for the whole of Britain.

The date of the decision is presumably on the missing part of the document, but it does show that the exemption is temporary. For Frederick, it was until the 4th October 1918 and one wonders whether, in designating that date, the Local Tribunal had a good idea that the war was nearing its conclusion. Armistice was in the following month on November 11th 1918.

Somewhat surprisingly, the certificate has no space to show the reason for the exemption. Presumably that is fully explained in the missing part of the document.

The exemption certificate allows for the possibility of the Local Tribunal setting conditions for the exemption. Fortunately for Frederick, his exemption was unconditional.

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Pat Cryer, webmaster