Old Haslingfield in the News: Exemption from Military Service, 1916

When conscription was introduced during the First World War, in 1916, those seeking exemption from military service were required to appear before local Tribunals, consisting of civilian as well as military personnel. For the inhabitants of Haslingfield, ‘local’ meant a trek to Chesterton.

The first of these cases was being heard in the summer of 1916. On June 9th Philip Watson, a local farmer of 430 acres as well as a meal dealer, was granted a conditional exemption, a Mr. Flack deeming it “a worthy case”.A week later George Baker, a horsekeeper and general stockman employed locally by William Jude, was also granted conditional exemption. Similar treatment was granted to Frederick Mills, a horsekeeper and ploughman, and to William Farrington, a horseman. Both were employed locally by Mrs. Wallace.

On the same day, June 16th, Mr. Huddlestone successfully won six months’ exemption for his 18-year-old son, L.G., who was also his apprentice. Mr. Huddlestone’s work as a wheelwright, smith and agricultural implement repairer took him to ten villages, and he only employed one other workman.

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