Back in October 2012, we provided a blog outlining the start of a project to digitise the First World War Military Service Tribunal papers that we hold in our MH 47 collection. Subsequent blogs have followed from Chris Barnes, David Langrish andÂ Emily Ward-WillisÂ and it is with great delight that we now announce the launch of the online images, free to download from Discovery.
The papers predominately relate to the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal, which heard appeals for exemption from the Military Service Acts of 1916 and 1918. The grounds (reasons) for appealing for exemption cover employment status, domestic, business, financial and medical hardships, as well as the more well-known topic of conscientious objection.
So, how can we search this collection?
The most straightforward way to search is to use our online search form. Here you can search by first and last name, occupation and town name, such as Acton or Kew.Â Remember, this collection is predominately for people residing or employed in Middlesex between 1916 and 1918.
Of obvious interest to genealogists when trying to find a little more out about First World War ancestors, this collection will also be of interest to academic researchers. The papers provide a snapshot of a specific area of the country during the unique period of conscription. The papersÂ provide insights, albeit slightly confined, to the ways in which a major industrial conflict affected individuals, households, businesses and communities on the home front.