Medically Unfit ? Whose Decision

Discussion in 'General' started by Shiny 9th, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member Patron

    Does anyone know the process whereby a man might be classified medically unfit to serve. I am currently researching a man who was 34 years in 1939 Household Survey but shown as "Incapacitated". He seems never to have been called up and whilst I do not doubt his lack of capacity to serve, wonder how the system worked. Would the word Incapacitated written in 1939 have required any further investigation?Or medical authentication.
  2. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    The criteria for medical Unfitness vary greatly, poor eyesight, deafness, flat feet, colour blindness, heart murmurs, psychiatric conditions and other forms of disability such as congenital diseases, the loss of limbs in previous accidents etc. I believe a GP would have made the first diagnosis for exemptions and a service medic would confirm by examination if thought necessary.
  3. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member Patron

    Thanks . Are there any records kept of these processes?
  4. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    Because of the random and ham-fisted way in which recruitment medicals were cararried out or even not carried out in WW1, the National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939 ordained that no man could be called up until he had been certified fit for service by a statutorily appointed medical board.

    In fact, it was not a binary fit/unfit decision. The boards assigned men to one of nine grades., A 1-3, B 1-3, C 1-3. The board would consider any medical documentation brought by the potential conscript, but the final decision lay with the mefical board.

    C3 were wholly unfit for military service. Other low categories miight be used, according to need, for service in the UK. Only the higher categories were fit for overseas service.
  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    timuk likes this.
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Early post war Leeds was the home of Medical Board No1,situated at Templar House,Lady Lane,Leeds 2.(off Briggate) It may have been there during the war before it became "Templar House"

    Official advice given by the National Service Acts Form N.S. 55

    "If before you are called up for service you have any serious illness or serious accident,or have reason to think there has been a deterioration in your health,you should immediately inform the Local Office of the Minister of Labour and National Service whose address appears on the back of your registration form N.S. 2,giving full particulars,including any medical evidence you can supply,and quoting your Registration No,and other entries made on form N.S.2,so that the information can be considered before an enlistment notice is issued to you."

    Flat Feet....I remember MCC, a prominent cricketer of my era who failed his medical on account of flat feet....strange that he could bat and run between the wickets in first class cricket.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  7. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member Patron

    Thanks for all the info. Re flat feet, I expect that for an infantryman these were a no no, since the hours of foot slogging would make them much worse. At least in cricket you get a rest between runs! And tea in the Pavilion.
    Anyone know if the medical records from the examinations were kept?
  8. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Your chap would have been born in 1905 ish, so was there any mention of incapacity in 1911 Census?
    Was he in a Childrens Home or such like?
    Obviously the "incapacity" may not have shown by then, as may not have started school, but worth a check if you haven't already done so.
    Presumably you've not got any family feedback as to what that incapacity might have been?
  9. jetson

    jetson Junior Member

    I will try to inject a little humour into this thread. In national service I was a junior NCO in the unit Orderly Room. A supremely fit lad in our company who had been a pal before we were called up from the same town as me, was suddenly MO'd as having flat feet on his PULHEEMS inspection and thus was no longer fit for infantry. He desperately wanted to stay with us and on his behalf tackled the ORQMS hoping he could influence matters. the latter heard my plea out and then caustically averred: "I'm a bit sick of you coming out to bat for all and sundry; anybody would think you were popular or something but I'll tell you now, I've not met anybody who has a good word to say for you! He's going to the Drop Shorts and that's that!" My mate duly went and signed on for 12 years in the RA!
  10. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member Patron

    Kevin, It is the 1939 Household Survey which stated "incapacitated". In the 1911 Census there is no mention of any problem. You are quite right 're his date of birth, and that there are no family to ask. He is a bit of a mystery man, and I will probably never know the answer !.

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