WW2 Enlistment Questions

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Mike Selcon, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Member

    I am researching a man who served in both the Royal Artillery and Corps of Military Police during the War.

    He was born on 11/11/1918 so when war broke out would have been just shy of his 21st birthday. In 1939 he worked as a plumber, was married and had a 6 month old daughter.

    As I understand it, because of his age he would have needed to register for military training/conscription under the terms of the Military Training Act of 1939 and the National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939, but his service record shows that he didn't actually join the Army until the 16th of April 1942, when he was enlisted into the:
    "Territorial Army for the duration of the Emergency under the provisions of the National Service (Armed Forces) Acts 1939 and 1940"

    He was given a service number of 11007160 and posted to the Coast Artillery Training Centre RA for his basic training.

    My question is, as a young man in 1939 why was he not called up until the spring of 1942? Might it have been because he was married with a child?, (he also had a second child in 1940) and like in the First War, they took single men first and married men with children were among the last group to be called up? Or as a plumber, would he have been in a reserved occupation?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards

  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    It could have been for a number of reasons. What was his employment status - was he a self employed tradesman or did he work for a larger company? I don't think that plumber was a reserved occupation per se but if he was working for a company in what was classed as a war essential industry then he could have been shielded - for example if he was employed by a company building military establishments (say airfields) his call up could have been deferred until there was a comb out to provide more men for the forces. Men working in non-esential industries were more likely to be either called up or directed into essential ones. Marital status was a factor but there were a great many married men with kids in the forces
  3. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    Mike, it is as likely to be sheer bureaucracy. Considering individual cases working off card indexes without computers was simply not practical. At registration an individual was put into a group of people with similar health and backgrounds which was allocated a number, when the government needed that type of person in whatever quantity the groups were 'called up'. They only became individuals on appeal.

    Despite needing troops the government wanted to avoid the embarrassment of having too many people under orders and not enough resources to deal with them, as in 1914.
    CL1 likes this.
  4. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Member

    Thank you both very much for this information, it helps a greta deal in explaining my man's story.

    Best regards

  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  6. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    My grandfather was a self employed plumber, who also did general building work, and although in his early thirties in 1939 was from what I have been told was not called up as it was a reserved occupation.

    He was married with children, and lived in an area subject to heavy bombing in the Blitz. He did join the Home Guard. When the V1 & V2 attacks came, he was in charge of a group of workers from the North of England, who were repairing bomb damage.
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Reserved occupation appears to have been more related to the industrial area in which one worked than the trade/skill one had - after all the Army needed carpenters, electricians, plumbers etc as much as civilian areas to use the same skills. The Building Industry was on the Reserved Occupations Schedule and plumbers involved in this could well have been included in the umbrella. Moreover most reserved occupations had an age qualification ie workers in the trade over a certain age were exempted - 20 and 30 seem to have been common boundaries
  8. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    papiermache likes this.

Share This Page