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'''Military Service Tribunals''' were bodies formed by borough, [[Urban district (Great Britain and Ireland)|urban district]] and [[rural district]] councils to hear applications for exemption from [[conscription]] into the [[British Army]] during [[World War I]]. Although not strictly [[Recruitment to the British Army during the First World War|recruiting]] bodies, they played an important part in the process of conscription. Tribunals were established as part of the [[Derby Scheme]] in 1915, but were continued on a statutory basis by the [[Military Service Act 1916|Military Service Act]], bringing in conscription.
 
'''Military Service Tribunals''' were bodies formed by borough, [[Urban district (Great Britain and Ireland)|urban district]] and [[rural district]] councils to hear applications for exemption from [[conscription]] into the [[British Army]] during [[World War I]]. Although not strictly [[Recruitment to the British Army during the First World War|recruiting]] bodies, they played an important part in the process of conscription. Tribunals were established as part of the [[Derby Scheme]] in 1915, but were continued on a statutory basis by the [[Military Service Act 1916|Military Service Act]], bringing in conscription.
   
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There were 2,086 local Military Service Tribunals, with 83 County Appeal Tribunals (formed by county councils) to hear appeals by applicants not happy with the local tribunal decision.<ref>UK Parliamentary Paper, Cmd 413, 'Forty-eighth annual report of the [[Local Government Board]]' (1919), p. 116.</ref> A Central Tribunal at Westminster in London served, solely at the discretion of the Appeals Tribunal,<ref>James McDermott, British Military service Tribunals, p.22</ref> as the final court of appeal;it largely dealt with difficult cases that would stand as precedent for local tribunals.
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There were 2,086 local Military Service Tribunals, with 83 County Appeal Tribunals (formed by [[county councils]]) to hear appeals by applicants not happy with the local tribunal decision.<ref>UK Parliamentary Paper, Cmd 413, 'Forty-eighth annual report of the [[Local Government Board]]' (1919), p. 116.</ref> A Central Tribunal at Westminster in London served, solely at the discretion of the Appeals Tribunal,<ref>James McDermott, British Military service Tribunals, p.22</ref> as the final court of appeal;it largely dealt with difficult cases that would stand as precedent for local tribunals.
   
 
Although they are best known for their often heavy-handed attitude towards cases of [[Conscientious Objection]], most of the tribunals' work dealt with domestic and business matters. Men could apply on the grounds of their doing work of national importance, business or domestic hardship, medical unfitness, and [[conscientious objection]]. Only around two per cent of applicants were conscientious objectors.<ref>Adrian Gregory, 'Military Service Tribunals: civil society in action', in Jose Harris, ''Civil Society in British History'' (Oxford: 2003), pp. 177-191.</ref> The image of the tribunals at the time was that they were soft on these cases and harsh on those relating to domestic hardship;{{Unreferenced}} after the war conscience cases became more prominent and tribunals are known for their (genuinely) harsh treatment of objectors.
 
Although they are best known for their often heavy-handed attitude towards cases of [[Conscientious Objection]], most of the tribunals' work dealt with domestic and business matters. Men could apply on the grounds of their doing work of national importance, business or domestic hardship, medical unfitness, and [[conscientious objection]]. Only around two per cent of applicants were conscientious objectors.<ref>Adrian Gregory, 'Military Service Tribunals: civil society in action', in Jose Harris, ''Civil Society in British History'' (Oxford: 2003), pp. 177-191.</ref> The image of the tribunals at the time was that they were soft on these cases and harsh on those relating to domestic hardship;{{Unreferenced}} after the war conscience cases became more prominent and tribunals are known for their (genuinely) harsh treatment of objectors.

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