What was the Darby Scheme (1915)?

Introduction The Derby Scheme was introduced during World War I in Britain in the autumn of 1915 by Herbert Kitchener’s new Director General of Recruiting, Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby (1865-1948) after which it was named. The war was lasting longer than had been anticipated and the British military required more recruits; ‘Derby’s scheme’… Read More

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What was the Conscription Crisis of 1918?

Introduction The Conscription Crisis of 1918 stemmed from a move by the British government to impose conscription (military draft) in Ireland in April 1918 during the First World War. Vigorous opposition was led by trade unions, Irish nationalist parties and Roman Catholic bishops and priests. A conscription law was passed but was never put in… Read More

What were Military Service Tribunals?

Introduction Military Service Tribunals were bodies formed by borough, urban district and rural district councils to hear applications for exemption from conscription into the British Army during the First World War. Background Although not strictly recruiting bodies, they played an important part in the process of conscription. Tribunals were published as part of the Derby… Read More

What was the Military Service Act 1916?

Introduction The Military Service Act 1916 was an Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom during the First World War to impose conscription in Great Britain, but not in Ireland. The Act The Bill which became the Act was introduced by Prime Minister H.H. Asquith in January 1916. It came into force on… Read More