First World War. 08. Conscription in Witham, 1916 onwards

Witham in the First World War.
08. Conscription, 1916 onwards
For a list of other chapters about WW1, click here.
_____________________________

Part 1. As recorded in the Chelmsford County Chronicle
Part 2. As recorded in the Essex Weekly News

Most of what is written below is in the form of summary notes. Phrases etc that are exact quotations, are enclosed by quotation marks ‘  ’.  Phrases that have been added by me for the purpose of explanation, are enclosed in square brackets.

The UDC was the Witham Urban District Council. If not from a newspaper, the Urban District Council items are from the Council or Committee minutes in ERO D/UWi/1 and 2.

For the background to conscription see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recruitment_to_the_British_Army_during_the_First_World_War#Conscription_1916-1918
_____________________________

Part 1. As recorded in the Chelmsford County Chronicle

Essex County Chronicle, 29 October 1915
UDC. Chairman (P Hutley) appointed ‘to serve on Lord Derby’s Recruiting Committee at Witham’. [The Derby scheme was a sort of voluntary conscription]

UDC 4 November 1915, Extraordinary meeting
To consider format of ‘Local Recruiting Appeal Committee’ as required by Local Government Board. The following were unanimously appointed to Committee, Capt S Abrey, Mr Q D Greatrex, Mr P Hutley, Mr J E Smith, Hon C H Strutt (or Mr A W Garrett if Strutt wouldn’t).

Essex County Chronicle, 26 November 1915
page 5 [full transcript] ‘A Witham Objection. A curious situation has been created at Witham in the general canvass which is being made of men of military age for the Army, by an objection which has been taken “on Christian and religious grounds”, by some members of the Peculiar People. While it must not be concluded that all Peculiars have declined their country’s call, the fact is that some have taken this course, and pleaded as their reason the teaching they have received and given on the primitive principles of their form of religion. It the olden days it used to be the Quakers who assumed the non-fighting attitude, but they seem to have now abandoned that role in favour of their modern counterparts, the Peculiars. It is very little use arguing with people who adopt this attitude, but there is a side to it which cannot be overlooked. Preaching a little while ago at an historic celebration at Little Dunmow Church, the Rev E G Maxted, the Socialist vicar of Tilty, stated that no amount of prayers for a cause, simply because it was just, would make that cause prevail. The history of the Jewish race – the chosen people of God – showed that they were continually oppressed and their kingdom laid waste by barbarian forces, in spite of their peculiar advantages in the eyes of God. Of course the moral was that the Jews of old could only hope to defend themselves by taking up arms against their oppressors, and all the love of peace as such went by the board when the wolf approached the sheep fold. How does that contention answer the Peculiars’ objection to military service’.

UDC 31 January 1916
page 304. Telegram from Lord Derby to County Council, encourage recruiting under Lord D’s recruiting scheme.

2nd February, 1916
Britain introduces conscription

UDC 9 February 1916, Extraordinary meeting
To appoint Local Tribunal under the Military Service Act 1916. Proposed that the five members of the existing local tribunal viz. Messrs Abrey, Greatrex, Hutley, Smith and Strutt be appointed under Act. Agreed. Also resolved on proposal of Mr Greatrex that Messrs Ebenezer Smith and Edward Wood be appointed as ‘Labour representatives; if they consent’. Also resolved that Mr Walter Taber be appointed.

Essex County Chronicle, 11 February 1916, page 8
‘The Tribunal’. Special meeting of UDC to appoint ‘a new Tribunal under the Military Service Act’. The five members of ‘the Derby scheme’ i.e. Abrey, Greatrex, Hutley, Smith and Strutt. Also add Mr W Taber, member of Council, and Messrs Ebenezer smith and E Wood to represent Labour’. [The Derby scheme had been a sort of voluntary conscription]

Chelmsford County Chronicle, 3 March 1916, page 5.
‘CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS AT WITHAM. VIEWS OF TWO PECULIARS’
‘The Witham Tribunal sat at the Council Chamber … Most of the business was of a formal nature, but some diversion was caused by the applications of two young men, members of the peculiar people’. One was Ernest Joseph Emmens, a postman. ‘Cannot take up arms’, and ‘object to do anything which requires taking a military oath’. So not RAMC for instance. Questioned about what in bible tells him it is wrong. Told some of Peculiars are serving in Forces. He says restoring men to life is so that they can go back and take life again. ‘The Chairman “I think as regards being a regular soldier we are prepared to listen to his objection, but he will find every day he is doing something which is helping the soldiers one side or another”. Another member: “What he is talking about is all rot. He is frightened and scared”. Applicant: “If I had any authority in the Bible to go and fight I would go and fight. I would agree to take a part in the RAMC if you can grant me relief from combatantcy”. This was accepted, and the applicant was recommended by the Tribunal as a non-combatant’.

Second man was A V Wagstaff, draper’s assistant, 19, under conscience clause. Wrote “war and bloodshed are the work of Satan”. Nor could make munitions. Recommended for non-combatant service.

Other cases:
Ernest William Doe, general stockman, employed by Mr Ratcliff. Conditional exemption.
Henry William Richards, builder. Exemption because on contracts needing personal supervision. Also trustee of Oddfellow’s Lodge. Month’s postponement.
S Frank Wager, plumber, helps his father who can’t do books or estimating and also has failing eyesight. Only son. Would have gone if could get someone else. Two month’s postponement.
James Loger, 32, employed by Mr Hutley, Mother dependent on him. Not present. Refused.
Alfred Cable, assistant superintendent of Life Insurance Company. Rep of company. Application could be made again.
Appeal for William E Fenner, 19, by his crippled father on crutches. William paid him an allowance. Told he would get money. Refused.

Essex County Chronicle, 10 March 1916
page 3.
Witham Tribunal. ‘The need of Milkers. Is women Labour “All Fudge”. Lots appealed for by Mr H T Isted on behalf of Lord Rayleigh’s farms. Military rep (E Pelly) said how could chairman Hon Ed Strutt get up on platform and tell farmers to employ women, and then excuse farmworkers from service. Details of farms and numbers. ‘Mr Hutley questioned where they would lodge the women. It would be absolutely impossible to lodge them in the cottages’.  Concerning one case, Captain Abrey said ‘You don’t want all these men for 368[? – or could even be 36½] acres of arable land. The Chairman: You must try to teach my brother how to farm. Capt Abrey: Yes, I can (Laughter).
At end, ‘Wilfred William Dawson, motor lorry driver, employed in a fellmonger’s business, was refused postponement, applied for by his employer Mr Adams, it being stated that appeals for two other men from the works would not be opposed by the military. Another man named Stiff, engaged in the business, was postponed for six months; and two other hands in certified employment were granted conditional exemption’.

Essex County Chronicle, 24 March 1916
page 2 ‘Witham Tribunal. Are unfit men enlisted ?’ Chair, Hon C H Strutt, said military accepted men ‘no use for military purposes’ because of ill health etc, who could work well at home. Capt Wingate disagreed.
‘Mr A C Mens, farmer, Witham, appealed for Percy Frank Cardy, who would be 19 on July 26’, his stockman on a farm of 85 acres at Hatfield Peverel. Six months exemption.
Another Hat Pev case.
‘Herbert Sidney Valentine, a young draper’s assistant, Witham, came before the Tribunal. It appeared that in January he was postponed ten groups, on the ground that two brothers were in the Forces, another was going, and applicant would be the support of his invalid mother. The military representatives appealed, and that appeal was upheld. In the meantime the group was called up, and the lad appealed again, and that was how the case was before the Tribunal again. The brother who was going was in a reserved occupation, and was not now going. Applicant said he had heard from the Central Authority and had merely come to show himself. He was willing to go. A Member: Good luck to you. Another Member: You will make a good soldier’. [see photo M1680. HSV was killed in 1917.]
‘Alfred Cable, married, 26, insurance assistant superintendent’. Appeal by company. Said now had replacement but not trained. Month’s postponement’.

Essex County Chronicle, 14 April 1916
page 3. County Appeal Tribunal. At Witham Police Court. Six hours. Lots of appeals from several areas. Chair was Mr Collingwood Hope, KC.
‘Mr Pinkham and his son. “Personal animosity” alleged. Wm Herbert Leslie Pinkham, 25, married, attested, mechanic in the Witham Glove Factory, appealed against a decision of the Local Tribunal.’
Said in a certified occupation. ‘Made a special study of machines used in the glove business, and had been to Germany for the purpose. If Mr Pinkham jun. went it would mean the stopping of the Witham glove business and the throwing out of employment of between 80 and 100 persons at Witham and Chelmsford’. Mr W Pinkham, managing director, appeared. ‘This was a highly technical business, and from information obtained by his son a new machine was brought out.
Before the war the glove business was almost entirely in German hands but he (Mr Pinkham) had endeavoured to capture the German trade. He had 80 glove machines, of 16 kinds; about 15 or 20 machines get out of order in a day, and his son attended to them. This was work of national importance’.
Capt Howard said agreed certified occupation, uncertainty was whether indispensable. ‘What happened when the son was ill? – Mr Pinkham: Fortunately, my son has not been ill. – Capt Howard: Surely there are times when he takes holidays? – Mr Pinkham: He has not been able to take a holiday since the war began, nor have I. Before the war we could appeal to Singers, but it is impossible to get anyone to come now. – Have you no other mechanic or fitter ? – No one. – Are not you a mechanic? – No, I can only start the gas engine. I have a boy of 18 on the premises, but he does not understand machinery.
Your son has known for six months, that he would be called upon? – I was told that if he attested steps would be taken to see that the business was not affected.- Does your son spend his whole time at the glove factory ? – Yes, he does nothing else. – I understand you son runs a cinema show? – Yes, in the evening. A young man is entitled to some relaxation; he must either do some work or go to the pubs – Mr Pinkham, jun., stated that he worked at the factory each day and in the evening went to the cinema.
The Chairman: All this case depends up on whether the work is of national importance. – Mr Pinkham: I don’t agree.- The Chairman: Do you say that a man who kept in order a machine to cut up toffee would be exempt: – Mr Pinkham: That is not the point; he would not be keeping other people employed . – The Chairman: You don’t agree that the question of national importance comes in this matter ? – Mr Pinkham: I say he is in a certified occupation.
The Chairman: Have you any contract for gloves for the army? – Mr Pinkham: No sir; the Army does not wear gloves.- The Chairman: Some officers wear gloves? – Mr Pinkham: They don’t want gloves; they would be better fighting with their fists. There is no demand for military gloves now.’
Chairman said this man no longer essential. One month’s temporary exemption. Applic for extension could be made.
‘Mr Pinkham said the hardship would be getting back the trade again.- the Chairman: Who looked after your machines while your son was in Germany? – Singers; but they have only one man now to look after this class of machine. – Dr Slimon: If your son had stayed in Germany he would have been interned; who would have looked after your business then? – Mr Pinkham: He came back because I was ill. – Dr Slimon: It is pure luck that he came back’.
‘Mr Pinkham: I ask for opportunity to appeal. I look upon this as personal animosity, pure and simple. The Board of Trade advise me to appeal every time’.

Women and Horses. Mr H Isted, manager to Messrs Strutt and Parker, re Great Bardfield. Long discussion. Exemption. Ditto some in Faulkbourne and Hat Peverel, Terling, Sible Hedingham. ‘The Chairman … There was the possibility of training women to do the work of cowmen. – Mr Isted: We have a school of women being trained at a farm at Little Baddow.- The Chairman: We shall expect an honest effort to be made to replace these cowmen by women. It might also be possible to economise in the ploughmen by the same means. – Mr Isted: We cannot train the women to take the place of ploughmen: it would not be safe to put the women with horses, even if they would go, but we are training them to take charge of the cows. I will withdraw this application for the two cowmen’.

The Daughter’s chance. Mr E M Blyth, miller, Witham Mill, appealed for exemption to Frank Green, 24, married, manager of a branch shop at Witham, whose claim to the Local Tribunal had been refused. It was stated this man gave up his former occupation of a baker, and was now engaged in selling chicken food and biscuits at a retail shop. – Mr Blyth stated that this man was the only man engaged at the shop, and had worked there since a boy. He (Mr Blyth) had two sons serving with the Army in France, and they had lost several men from the mill.
This shop was in the town, where orders were taken and transferred by telephone to the mill. There was no one else to manage the shop. Ladies who wanted to order biscuits for their dogs would not go down to the mill: the trade would go to someone else if the town shop was closed.
Capt Howard: You have a daughter; could not she manage this shop? – Mr Blyth: She has never been brought up to that kind of work. – Capt Howard: But ladies are doing all kinds of things now they did not do before the war, and your daughter might like to do this shop? – Mr Blyth; She is busy at home, where we have soldiers billeted. – Capt Howard: then a sharp lad might manage the shop, by the aid of the telephone? – The Chairman: People will have to put up with inconvenience due to the war; instead of having things sent to them, they will have to go and fetch the goods. – One month was allowed to enable Mr Blyth to make other arrangements for the shop.’

Hatfield Peverel case.
‘A Witham builder. Harry William Richards, builder, Chipping Hill, attested, applied for two months extension from March 28 granted by the Local Tribunal. He said he was a partner with his mother in the firm of Richards and Son; he did the correspondence of the business, and managed it. He had lost two men, and he had a contract for rebuilding at the Witham Tannery which he had to carry out.
Capt Howard: You have a married brother with you in the business, and he could manage to take the direction. – Mr Richards: I direct the business and my brother does the carpenting.- The Chairman: Your brother could see to the completion of this contract.- Mr Richards: He is hardly capable of that, and I have always done it; My brother is not a partner in the business. – Exemption was granted till May 28’.

page ?. Witham Tribunal. Strutt and Lord Rayleigh employees at Terling at Hatfield Peverel.
‘Reginald Wightman, seedsman, employed by Messrs C Brown and Son, Witham’. Said certified. Applicant said if in army separation allowance would only pay rent and rates and nothing for family to live on. ‘Mr Brown said the man was indispensable to their business in the selection of seed; he had been in the business twelve years, and knew it thoroughly … considered himself a seed expert.’ Member said sympathy over money but some employers helped. Three months exemption but military rep would appeal.
‘Six months exemption was granted to Harry Brown, butcher, Witham’

Essex County Chronicle, 19 May 1916
page 2. Appeals. ‘Reginald Whiteman, 34, manager of a corn shop at Witham for Messrs Brown and Son, who had been exempted until July 10, was appealed for by the military, who submitted that the man was not a seed expert and that there was sufficient staff to carry on  the business.- Mr Brown said Whiteman had control of the agricultural seed department. They had lost a good many hands. They grew about 200 acres of seeds and seed corn. – The Chairman said conditional exemption would be granted, but it was only fair to emphasise that the Tribunal did this with the greatest hesitation, because they were not clear and not unanimously agreed what the man’s actual occupation was. Capt Howard: I should like leave to appeal. – The Chairman: We should be quite prepared to give that leave.

Essex County Chronicle, 26 May 1916
page 6,  Military Tribunal. Hon C H Strutt presiding. Also ‘Messrs S Abrey, Q D Greatrex, P Hutley, JP, CA, E J Smith, Eb Smith, E Wood, with the military representative, Mr E Pelly, and the Clerk, Mr S Daniels’.
‘Wm E Bull, married, professional photographer, Witham, with a branch at Braintree, appealed on grounds of business hardship. The Chairman: The Government are meeting cases of hardship by a system of grants. Mr Pelly contended that photography was not of national importance in war time. Applicant urged that photographs were really a necessity, as soldiers and their relatives wanted photographs. Postponed two months’.
‘Wm H L Pinkham, works manager and mechanic, National Glove Co., Witham, was further appealed for by his father, Mr W Pinkham, as being in a reserved occupation, and that serious hardship would ensue if he was called up. The military contended that he was not in a certified occupation, and that it was no longer necessary in the national interest. Mr W Pinkham submitted that it was a reserved occupation, and that his son’s usual and principal occupation was looking after machinery. He had found it impossible to get anyone to undertake the work. Mr Pelly sad the case had been before the Advisory Committee three times, before that Tribunal once, and before the County Tribunal once. Was there any precedence for a lower court to upset the decision of the higher court without fresh facts. The appeal was refused, and Mr Pinkham was told he had power to appeal to the County Tribunal, who might give him the opportunity of appealing to the central Committee.
Chas E Richards, married, builder, Witham, appealed, stating that if he joined the business would be closed. Nine of his employees had entered the Army, and two more bricklayers were called in the next lot. Three months postponement’.
Appeals lodged for Wm Alfred Mills, 25, Great Totham, fitter and sanitary engineer, by Messrs Lewis and Son, Witham, and for Maurice Hayes, plumber and fitter, Witham, by Mr Wager. It was stated that Witham was very short of plumbers, and Mr Wager said that now his son had gone he might as well close the shop if Hayes went, as he did a lot of the well work, which he (Mr Wager) was not now able to do very well owing to failing eyesight. Mills was granted three months postponement and Hayes four months’.
Other postponements include: ‘Albert E Gaymer, smallholder and agricultural mechanic, who asked for time to finish planting, four months; Wm H Burman, managing Mr Spurge’s grocery shop at Wickham Bishops, employer’s appeal, four men having gone, and three others having been called would like this man – four months; Alfred A Phillips, 33, iron merchant, Witham, married, two children, helping to support his mother, one month, Wm J Smith, 28, basket maker, Witham, appealed for by his father, as his only hand, one month; Geo J Purl, 37, butcher and slaughterman, appealed for by his employer Mr Goodchild as his only man, six months, Mr Pelly suggesting that the butchers of the town should, like Braintree, pool the slaughtermen; and Thomas Dodman, 38, chimney sweep, Witham, who said he was 4 ft 10 in height, had four brothers serving, was willing “to do his bit” and had tried three times to enlist, three months’.
Conditional exemption – Samuel J Crabb, 28, coal carman for Witham Cartage Co, and Alfred W Benson, threshing machine driver, Braintree, employed by Messrs Richardson and Wakelin ‘both being agreed to by the military’.
Refused, two from Hatfield Peverel.

Essex Weekly News 26 May 1916
page 5.  Military Tribunal. Chairman Hon C H Strutt.
‘William E Bull, married, professional photographer, Witham, with a branch business at Braintree, applied on the grounds of business hardship. He was working single-handed with the exception of an apprentice, who, however, would be leaving shortly to join the Army. He was the only photographer over a wide radius, and if he had to go the business would be closed. – The Chairman pointed out that the Government were meeting cases of hardship by their system of grants; and Mr Pelly argued that photography was not of national importance in war time. Two months were allowed.’

‘THE GLOVE FACTORY CASE AGAIN
‘The Tribunal heard a second application by the National Glove Company for exemption for William H L Pinkham, works manager and mechanic. The case was before the Tribunal six weeks ago, when one month’s postponement was granted; and on an appeal to the County Tribunal this decision was confirmed.
The application was based on the grounds that Pinkham is engaged in a reserved occupation and that serious hardship would ensue. Applicants argued that men engaged in similar factories with the same occupation had been exempted. – The Military Representative objected that Pinkham was not in a certified occupation, and that if he were it was no longer necessary in the national interest that he should remain in such occupation.
Mr W Pinkham, supporting the claim, said he had appealed unsuccessfully to Messrs. Singer to look after the machinery, and also tried in Devonshire, the seat of the glove industry, to get a man to replace his son, but it was absolutely impossible to do so. – The Chairman asked whether it would be impossible to train another person to look after the machinery. – say in six months ? – Applicant: Yes, it would.
The Chairman said it seemed to him that applicant was making a bigger effort to keep his son than he was to keep his mechanic. – Applicant denied the suggestion; and the son said if any member of the Tribunal would find someone who could look after the machinery he would join the Army.
Applicant said the real question was this: Was his son doing more good in the national interest by finding employment for 80 or 90 people in Witham than he would as a unit in the Army? – Mr Pelly: Our point is that we have to win the war. Gloves are a secondary consideration.
The application was refused, the Chairman pointing out to applicant that he could again appeal to the County Tribunal, and perhaps this time they would let the case go to the Central Appeal Tribunal.’

‘Shortage of plumbers. Exemption was sought for William A Mills, 25, Great Totham, fitter and sanitary engineer, employers Messrs Lewis and Son, Witham; and Maurice Hayes, plumber and fitter, Witham, employer Mr Wager.
It was stated that Witham was very short of plumbers; and Mr Wager said that as his son had gone he might as well close the shop if Hayes went also, as he did a lot of work, which he (MR Wager) was not now able to do very well owning to failing eyesight. Mills was granted three months postponement and Hayes four months.

Results in brief:
Postponement was granted as under :- Charles E Richards, builder, Witham, three months … Albert E Gaymer, small holder and agricultural mechanic, four months; William H Burman, manager of Mr Spurge’s grocery shop, Wickham Bishops, four months; Alfred A Phillips, 33, married, iron merchant, Witham, one month; William J Smith, 28, basket maker, Witham, employer his father, one month; George J Purl, 37, butcher and slaughterman, employer Mr Goodchild, six months; Thomas Dodman, 38, chimney sweep, Witham, three months.
Conditional exemption was granted to Samuel J Crabb, 28, coal carman, employers the Witham Cartage Co; and Alfred W Benson, threshing machine driver, Braintree, employed by Messrs Richardson and Wakelin, Witham, both being agreed to by the military’
Re Hatfield Peverel, one postponed and two refused.

Essex County Chronicle, 23 June 1916
page 6. Witham tribunal. Some Hatfield Peverel etc.
‘Arthur George Crayford, 32, married, Witham, pianoforte and harmonium tuner, applied, and the military representative objected, stating that piano tuning was not essential now. – Applicant stated that he had domestic grounds. – The military representative: There are occasions when men would be better out of the way. – Mr Pelly: You would rather tune pianos than do your bit for the country? – Crayford: I would rather tune the pianos. –  The application was refused’. [see Essex Weekly News, 14 March 1919 for his return to tuning after the War]
‘Jos Braybrook, 40, saw miller and motor driver, Church Street, Witham, applied and said he would be willing to go on munition work. – One month was allowed for applicant to go into a munition works.’
‘James E Hines, 40, jobmaster, Witham, applied, stating that he had served twelve years in the Army, and went through the South African War. He had invested all his capital in the business. Six months’.
‘Stanley M Daniels, solicitor, Witham, of the firm of Messrs Blood and Son, and clerk to the Tribunal, applied, and the military representative suggested three months, with power to come again. Agreed’.
Conditional exemption was granted the following: … Frank Harris, 28, head milkman, Witham; Walter Nunn, 30, journeyman baker, Witham; … Amos A Shelley, 2[?], seed grower, Rivenhall … Fred S Cook, 25, coal carter, Witham …  Temporary exemption was granted to the following: … Hy Jell, 34, draper’s manager, Witham, 1 month … Alfred Griggs, greengrocer, Chipping Hill, 2 months’.

Essex County Chronicle, 30 June 1916
Witham Tribunal. Includes:
‘Mr E Spurge, Witham, applied for Frank Cundy, 31, cashier for three businesses, as an expert. – The Chairman: We cannot understand why a women cannot do this? – Mr Spurge: I cannot find such a woman. – It was reported that Cundy was passed only as fit for garrison duty. – Four months exemption was granted’.
‘A discussion arose as to the principle on which exemption was allowed to farm workmen. Mr Hutley stating that it was no good starving the land industry to send men to the Army, which already had more than were wanted. – Mr Pelly: You cannot say that while no progress is being made in the war. All the men will be wanted to win the war. – Mr Hutley: But the war will not be won in England; it must be won over there. Here we have millions of men at home, some of them having been under training for fourteen months, and still at home. How can they win the war? Mr Pelly. they are needed to train for the war’.
Temporary exemption was granted the following … Edward G Claydon, 30, cycle and motor maker, Witham, 5 months, on the understanding he would join the Volunteer Training Corps at Chelmsford: Wm E Raven, 21, baker, employed by W Ardley, Witham, on condition that he would at the end of that period join the Army; Fred H Bohannon, 22, master baker, Witham, 3 months, Joseph T Mottashed, 34, druggist and drysalter, Witham Drug Stores, 3 months; James R Sorrell, 30, butcher and cattle dealer, Witham, 4 months, with a request to join the VTC.’

Essex County Chronicle, 14 July 1916
page 6, col 4. Tribunal re conscription. ‘Present – Hon C H Strutt, JP, CA, chairman; Messrs S Abrey, Q D Greatrex, P Hutley, JP, CA; Eb Smith, E J Smith, W Taber, and E Wood. Mr P E Laurence, JP,. and Mr E Pelly, military representatives. Mr S Daniel, clerk.’
Mrs Smith builder of Terling wanted exemption for only two workmen, Herbert M Dorking, 34, foreman bricklayer and plasterer, and Fred Smith, 40, carpenter’. Neither passed for full service. Applicants’ ‘three sons had joined Army and another who was just 18 would have to go’. Six months postponement.
Charles Warren, 38, motor engineer and works manager, employed by Messrs Glover Bros, was said to be the last practical technical man employed by the [???]. He was responsible for the upkeep of various electrical, gas and power plants in the district. Warren said he had patented an invention for use in munition factories for facilitating production, and this required his personal attention. The invention had been taken up by certain firms. Six months postponement was granted’.
‘Arthur Heard, 31, draper’s traveller, employed by Mr Oscar Heddle, applied as a conscientious objector for absolute exemption. Applicant said since January 1910, he had been a duly elected minister of the Peculiar People and had taken vows. He therefore argued that he was entitled to exemption. There were six ministers who served the church at Witham and sent supplies to churches in the district. The congregation at Witham would average about 110. Ministers of the Peculiar People had been granted complete exemption by other Tribunals. He was willing to take up agricultural work.
Replying to the Military Representative applicant admitted that at the time of the National Registration he described himself as a gardener, and in his application for exemption he said he was a draper’s traveller. Passed for non-combatant service.
George W Cutmore, 27, draper’s traveller, in the same employment also applied, He said he looked on the war as a worldly affair in which he must take no part. Asked what he would do if a German was after him applicant said he dare not offer armed resistance. He was told in the Scriptures that he had to offer his cheek to the smiters, and he had to show there was something Christ-like within him. Passed for non-combatant service’.
‘Conditional exemption was granted to the following:- David Chignell, 38, puller and wool sorter, Witham, employers Messrs Row and Stagg Ltd, Tunbridge; Ernest W Pease, 29, head horseman, employer Mr E M Bott, Rivenhall; John Clemence, 40, ploughman and horseman, employer Mr Hugh Marriage, Hatfield Peverel; Ernest Ellis, 38, miller’s lorry engineer, Arthur T West, 38, flour miller’s carman, Percy C Adams, 34, flour miller and engineer, Alfred C West 40, miller’s foreman, and Alfred R Bickmore, 34, flour miller, all employed by Messrs E M Blyth and Son, Witham.’
‘Postponed … Oscar Heddle, 31, draper and outfitter, Witham, “one-man business” four months; Joseph E Porter, 29, painter and paperhanger, employers Messrs A F Lewis and Sons, two months, this to be final. Stanley T Springett, 23, painter, employer Mr J D Dean, domestic grounds, for medical examination.
Refused. William C Hawkes, 29, carter and general labourer, employers Messrs A F Lewis and Sons’.

Essex County Chronicle, 15 September 1916
page 8. Tribunal. Mr Hutley (member of Tribunal) asked for ‘James Loker, 33, his stockman, saying he had been medically rejected, and had now been called up in the middle of harvest’, understood military couldn’t do that. Mr Pelly said he ‘not rejected’, ‘passed for garrison duty abroad’. Man sent back by military and previously appealed to support widowed mother and that refused. Mr H said only had one other able-bodied man and one invalided. Now had ‘temporary help from a soldier’ who going back on Saturday. Mr H said ‘land getting into wretched state through shortage of labour’. Three months with leave to apply again.
‘Ellis T Stiff, married, hide and skin buyer, driver of a motor lorry .. by his employers Messrs Rowland Stagg Ltd’ Gave 6 months before. Only driver and collector left, two others gone. ‘All the produce of the business was for the military’. Mr Adams for Stagg said would take more than twelve months to train someone else. Three months allowed.
Harold Stoneham, 18 years and 10 months, cabinet maker, employed by Mr Brown, adjourned for medical exam.
‘Sidney A Sprawling, 35, postman, married, six children under 11, delicate wife’ further six months.
Fredk John Andrews, gardener. Rheumatism and asthma, delicate wife, child having medical treatment. Six months.
‘Charles E Jones, 35, single, munition worker’. Only son at home with invalid mother who had lost two other sons. Passed for garrison duty abroad and now called up. Formerly labourer, on munition work. Refused.

UDC 25 September 1916
page 343. Support appeals of Mr Daniel and Mr Claydon to local tribunal.

UDC ? November 1916, extraordinary meeting
C W Parker declined tribunal appointment because of pressure of business. Ask Mr Walter Whitehead Boulton.

UDC 27 November 1916
page 355. W W Boulton agreed to act on Local Tribunal.

Essex County Chronicle, 26 January 1917
Witham Tribunal. Includes:
‘Chairman alleges neglect. Sidney Reginald Bradley, 28[?], married, Witham, gardener and motor driver, employed by the Rev F W Galpin, vicar of Witham, applied for leave to go into munitions, stating that he has a delicate wife and two young children. – The Chairman: Have you been before any Military Tribunal before? – Bradley: No. – The Chairman: Do you know there have been Proclamations issued, calling up all men to the Army? – Bradley: No, but I went to Warley last October and was passed for B2. I was called up on Dec 4, and asked to go on munitions. – The Chairman: We want to know why you have not come before this Tribunal before, or joined the Army? – Bradley: I lodged an appeal.- The Chairman: You are an absentee from the Army, and in rather a serious position. What have you been doing? – Bradley: I have been working in the Vicar’s garden. I have not been on munitions yet. I put in an appeal in November, and never head anything about it till last week. – Mr Laurence: There must be some misunderstanding. Mr Galpin would not keep you in his employ otherwise. You are liable to arrest. – Bradley: I cannot see that.- The Chairman: Well, you can read, and there are the King’s Proclamations on the walls calling men of military age to the Army. Did the Vicar ever speak to you about you case? – Bradley: Yes, he often asked me how it was getting on.- The Chairman: There has been some very grave neglect in this case, at the recruiting office and generally. – Mr Laurence: I would not say neglect.- The Chairman: The matter wants looking into. The man applied to go on munitions, and our clerk was told he was on munitions, but he never went near.- The Clerk: I was told he was actually in munition works. – The Chairman: Due to the muddle, this man has been placed in a false position, and he might have been arrested. – Mr Ebenezer Smith: And the employer, too for employing such a man.- The Chairman: This case is made worse by the man not having read the Proclamations.- The application was dismissed. Bradley not to be called up for 14 days.’
Ernest Robert Sorrell, butcher of Hatfield Peverel.
‘Stanley Wm Tyrell, 36, single, bootmaker and repairer, Chipping Hill, Witham, applied again, and said he considered it important that people’s boots should be repaired. He was the only man at the trade at Chipping Hill, and was passed for garrison duty abroad.- Mr Laurence opposed in this case, and said a single man boot repairer was not exempt. There was another boot repairer at Chipping hill, and there were several in Witham town close by – Mr Wood: what are the poor women and children to do if there is no one to repair their boots? The other boot repairer at Chipping Hill is also church clerk. – Mr Laurence: The Advisory committee on the last occasion recommended one month final, and this Tribunal granted ten weeks. Tyrell said he had a lot of Army boots to repair. – The Chairman: Is there anyone else at Chipping Hill? – Tyrell: there is no one else at Chipping Hill to repair the boots if I go and my place is closed. – the Chairman; men of this class are urgently needed. We don’t like closing up businesses, but the war is going to cause inconvenience to us all. – The application was dismissed with a request to the military not to call Tyrell up for a month. Tyrell: It will take a month to clear the boots out of the shop. – The Chairmen; We have to go by our instructions and remember that we are war !
‘Edward Philip Palmer, 23, single, baker and roundsman, Witham, employed by Mr J C Burrells, was called up by the military for review, he having been granted conditional exemption in 1916. – Mr Laurence stated that the age for a single baker had been raised to 30. – Mr Burrells said he suffered from ill-health, and had only this man to rely on. He had a contract from the Braintree Union to supply bread.- The man was ordered to Warley for medical examination.
Fredk. R Parker, 29[?], married, butter, tea and margarine merchant, Witham, applied for leave to go on munitions as he had been passed for B2, and he could then keep his business going. – It was stated that Parker had applied eight times. – Dismissed.

Essex County Chronicle, 9 February 1917
Tribunal. ‘Chairman Mr W W Boulton. The Chairman said that after the appeal of the King for volunteers he would like it known that when conditional exemption was granted men would be expected to join the Volunteer Force. He was struck by the number of young men who had exemption and had not joined up yet’. Agreed for able-bodied men.
Chairman applied for Arthur Edward Jackson, 33, married, head gardener’ only skilled man, looked after 3½ acres of ground where 3 tons of potatoes raised every year, and 25 acres of grass land. Had bad throat and couldn’t do munition work. Six months exemption.
‘Ernest Appleby, 39, married, dispenser and bookkeeper to Dr Gimson, asked for conditional exemption. Mr H F Bawtree was for the appellant.’ Six months exempt and permission to apply again.
Charles Warren, 39, married, engineer etc to Glovers. ‘Work had much increased in the repair of motor and agricultural machinery’ Three months allowed.
Mr Cullen, seed grower, applied for James O[?] Hall[?] 39[?] farm mechanic; Harry Adams, [age?], thatcher; George Tokeley, 29, ploughman; W Finch, 30[?], horseman; and Albert Lawrence, 27[?], stacker and head labourer. All married. Mr Moss said Mr C under staffed, Mr Hutley said couldn’t understand why three men called up. All given six months, Mr C to encourage them to join the Volunteers.
[Others hard to read] Some from Hatfield. Arthur Chas Hansell of Harrison Gray, two months. Edward Philip Palmer, [??] Witham, one month, James Thos Mottashed, druggist, Witham, two months, Henry William Richards, builder, Chipping Hill, two months, Arthur Frank Claydon, solicitors clerk, two months.

Essex County Chronicle, 23 February 1917
Witham Tribunal. Includes.
‘Albert Pease, 37, married, horseman and ploughman, Witham, employed by Messrs W B and A E Brice, farmers, Rivenhall, was granted conditional exemption’.
‘Mr A E Mens, of the Witham Coal Cartage Co. applied for Ernest Skingsley, [??], married, engine driver and steam ploughman, Witham. Conditional exemption was granted, with a recommendation that Skingsley join the Volunteers’.
‘Oscar Heddle, 32, married, draper, Warwick House, Witham, applied again for exemption. – The Chairman read a letter from Messrs Cunnington, Son, and Orfeur, solicitors, Braintree, instructed to appear for Heddle, stating that they formally objected to the military representatives taking part in the consideration of the case unless they or their client were present. – Mr Laurence: Am I not to say a word in this case? – The Chairman: Not till he arrives. – Mr Ebenezer Smith: I think this is carrying it too far. – The Chairman: There is no law to prevent the military representative being present, so long as he takes no part. – Mr Heddle said he was willing to do national work. – Mr N Orfeur and Heddle were called before the Tribunal, and the question of the letter was raised by Mr Orfeur – Mr Laurence: I really protest against this letter, because it is on the wrong basis. If the applicants for exemption are allowed to be represented by a solicitor, the military representative ought to have a K.C. (Laugher). Mr Orfeur: My point in law is based upon a decision by Lord Reading. – The Chairman: We have used our discretion, and will hear your case. – Mr Orfeur stated that Heddle had 2,500 customers on his books, and his cash takings in 1916 were £7,700. His trade was mostly with the working-class people – poor people – and it would be a great inconvenience to these people if Heddle had to go. He had offered to dispose of his business as a sacrifice, but failed, and he could not get a manager. – Mr Laurence: I must object to the solicitor making a speech, but the regulations he is allowed to state facts, but not make a speech.- Mr Orfeur: Where do you get that from ? – The Chairman: We have heard him.; will the solicitor now tell us what he has to say about the national interest in this case.
Mr Orfeur: The inconvenience to 2,500 customers, who pay weekly, would be a matter of national importance if this business were to be closed down. – The Chairman: That may be inconvenience, but it is not national interest. – Mr Laurence: I can see Mr Heddle is doing a large, and I hope,  successful business, but here are thousands of men in like position, who have given up all to do their duty. In fairness to our other local tradesmen, butchers, druggists, and others in one-man businesses, who have gone to the Army, I think the time has come for Mr Heddle to go. I must ask the Tribunal to support the recommendation of one month, final. – The chairman: we must consider this case on the merits, without respect to others. – Mr Laurence: Why should other people give up their businesses to go to the Army, and this man remain here? – Mr Orfeur: At Braintree tradesmen younger than this one have been allowed to go into munitions. – The Chairman: We can only decide on our own judgement, without reference to any other Tribunal. – Ultimately, by the Chairman’s casting vote, applicant was given two months, final, to go into the Army. – Upon the application of the military, the Tribunal decided to send the letter from Messrs Cunnington, Son, and Orfeur to the Local Government Board for a decision on the point of law raised therein.
Mr Walter Gardner, Witham, applied for  Robert L C Green, 28, single, electrical engineer, Hatfield Peverel. Dismissed.
Albert Archie Elwer, 28[?]. married, groom-gardener, employed by Mr D Willing[?] Witham, classed C4, an old soldier, allowed six months.
Mr W E Brown, cabinet maker, Witham, applied for Harold Stoneham, 18, single, apprentice, who had been passed for B1.- Three months granted, with leave to apply again.
Cyril Dickerson, 25, married, blacksmith, Great Totham, was applied for by his employer, Mrs A O[?] Brockes, blacksmith, Witham. – It was stated that the age for a blacksmith to be exempt was 25 if married. – Mr Laurence opposed because Mrs Brockes had now a very capable foreman in the business. – Mrs Brockes said she had tried to get other men, but had failed; if a substitute was provided she would be willing for Dickerson to go, but an incapable man might ruin a horse. – She had to shoe a lot of Army horses – It was stated that there was some doubt whether Dickerson was over 25, on the specified date, and the case was adjourned for the production of a birth certificate.
Mr George H Ellis, bootmaker, Witham, applied for his son, Walter Henry Ellis, 18, single, boot repairer, on the ground of ill health. Three months granted, with leave to apply again.

UDC 26 February 1917
Two letters from County Council with circular from Local Government Board re organising a ‘Recruiting Campaign for enrolment of National Service Volunteers’. Decided more effective if organised by County Council.

UDC 14 March 1917, extraordinary meeting
Re National Service Volunteers, as referred to in last meeting, Committee to be nominated with power to add to membership.

UDC 25 June 1917
page 389. Council would support Clerk’s appeal for six months’ further exemption at the Tribunal.

UDC 27 August 1917
Resignation of Clerk because called up for military service in October next. Accept with regret.

UDC 10 September 1917, extraordinary meeting
Clerk willing to withdraw resignation if deputy to his satisfaction is appointed. Committee of two to be appointed to consult with the Clerk and Mr Naylor as to Mr Naylor agreeing to act as Deputy Clerk for Mr Daniel during his absence.

UDC 24 September 1917
page 403. Mr Naylor willing to be deputy as above.

_______________________________________

Part 2. As recorded in the Essex Weekly News

Essex Weekly News, 31 March 1916.
page 6. Tribunal.
First case with a long report is a ‘claim for total exemption’ on behalf of Herbert L Pinkham, 25 ‘work’s manager and machinery mechanic’, by the National Glove Company. He ‘had spent some considerable time in Germany specialising in machines used in the glove trade.
The employers found it impossible to obtain another man who was capable of keeping their machinery in running repair. If they lost him it would mean the stoppage of the business and throwing out of employment 80 to 100 people in Witham and Chelmsford.
The applicants were engaged in capturing the German trade, and had done so to the fullest extent of their capacity. Mr W Pinkham, who supported the application, said the firm had 16 different kinds of machines all of a very highly technical character and specially made for the glove business.
The only other man they had joined up a year ago, and as a result he (Mr Pinkham) had to give up an appointment worth £250 a year and devote his time to the business. His son had been specially trained for this work since he was 12 years of age, and he spent six months in Germany studying the business.
He had tried to get Messrs Singer to undertake to keep his machines in repair, but they were unable to do it. He claimed that his son was in a certified occupation.
The Chairman [Hon C H Strutt] did not think the section included the young man. In his opinion the reference to a mechanic meant one whose whole time was devoted to going round the country doing repair work, and not simply looking after one business.
Mr Pinkham pointed out that this was the only glove industry this side of London. Had they been able to get a larger number of girls they would have been enabled to keep one man doing nothing else but look after the machines.
The Chairman: Has there not been time for your son to train somebody else? – Mr Pinkham: No, Sir. It is quite impossible. If we had been training a younger man he would have been called up; and if a man is above military age he is not so keen to learn as a man of 18. The Chairman: You might get somebody who would not pass.
Mr Pinkham also supported the appeal on the ground of hardship. At the very earnest ??? of the Board of Trade and the merchants in the City he undertook to do what he could to capture enemy trade. Even before the war he had put every penny he had into the business, and they had ??? ??? down additional plant at a cost of £??? on purpose to capture a German industry, which the glove trade was almost entirely ??? ???.
If his son had to go the plant could not be kept going, and the whole 12 years of his (the speaker’s) work in endeavouring to capture a foreign industry would be lost.
Mr Laurence said the case was represented as one in which 80 to 100 workpeople were dependent on one young man to keep them going. Supposing there was no war on, and the young man lost his health or died, would they not be in the same position? – Mr Pinkham: Not exactly. He added that if the war were not on he could call on Messrs Singer to assist him or they would be able to train somebody else.
The Chairman: From the national point of view, apart from the Board of Trade – is the gloving industry one which in a time of national stress must be kept going? – Mr Pinkham: I can only answer that question by asking another. Is my son of more importance as a unit in the Army than as a unit in the industrial life, keeping about 100 people in employment?
Eventually the Tribunal granted one month’s postponement. – Mr Pinkham: I shall appeal. – The Chairman: I am not sure the military won’t appeal against the month.’

‘Other cases’ included:
‘William H Grimsey, 30, ploughman and horseman, employed by Mr Bonner on a seed[?] farm at Witham, was granted a month’s exemption.
Messrs E M Blyth and Son, millers, appealed for Frank Green, 24, Group 29, the sole employee at their branch retail shop in Witham. Mr Blyth said if the man had to go it would be impossible to keep the shop open. Refused.

Essex Weekly News, 14 July 1916
page 6, col 4. Tribunal re conscription. ‘Present – Hon C H Strutt, JP, CA, chairman; Messrs S Abrey, Q D Greatrex, P Hutley, JP, CA; Eb Smith, E J Smith, W Taber, and E Wood. Mr P E Laurence, JP,. and Mr E Pelly, military representatives. Mr S Daniel, clerk.’
Mrs Smith builder of Terling wanted exemption for only two workmen, Herbert M Dorking, 34, foreman bricklayer and plasterer, and Fred Smith, 40, carpenter’. Neither passed for full service. Applicants’ ‘three sons had joined Army and another who was just 18 would have to go’. Six months postponement.
‘Charles Warren, 38, motor engineer and works manager, employed by Messrs Glover Bros, was said to be the last practical technical man employed by the [???]. He was responsible for the upkeep of various electrical, gas and power plants in the district. Warren said he had patented an invention for use in munition factories for facilitating production, and this required his personal attention. The invention had been taken up by certain firms. Six months postponement was granted’.
‘Arthur Heard, 31, draper’s traveller, employed by Mr Oscar Heddle, applied as a conscientious objector for absolute exemption. Applicant said since January 1910, he had been a duly elected minister of the Peculiar People and had taken vows. He therefore argued that he was entitled to exemption. There were six ministers who served the church at Witham and sent supplies to churches in the district. The congregation at Witham would average about 110. Ministers of the Peculiar People had been granted complete exemption by other Tribunals. He was willing to take up agricultural work. Replying to the Military Representative applicant admitted that at the time of the National Registration he described himself as a gardener, and in his application for exemption he said he was a draper’s traveller. Passed for non-combatant service.
George W Cutmore, 27, draper’s traveller, in the same employment also applied, He said he looked up  the war as a worldly affair in which he must take no part. Asked what he would do if a German was after him applicant said he dare not offer armed resistance. He was told in the Scriptures that he had to offer his cheek to the smiters, and he had to show there was something Christ-like within him. Passed for non-combatant service’.
‘Conditional exemption was granted to the following:- David Chignell, 38, puller and wool sorter, Witham, employers Messrs Row and Stagg Ltd, Tunbridge; Ernest W Pease, 29, head horseman, employer Mr E M Bott, Rivenhall; John Clemence, 40, ploughman and horseman, employer Mr Hugh Marriage, Hatfield Peverel; Ernest Ellis, 38, miller’s lorry engineer, Arthur T West, 38, flour miller’s carman, Percy C Adams, 34, flour miller and engineer, Alfred C West 40, miller’s foreman, and Alfred R Bickmore, 34, flour miller, all employed by Messrs E M Blyth and Son, Witham.’
‘Postponed … Oscar Heddle, 31, draper and outfitter, Witham, “one-man business” four months; Joseph E Porter, 29, painter and paperhanger, employers Messrs A F Lewis and Sons, two months, this to be final. Stanley T Springett, 23, painter, employer Mr J D Dean, domestic grounds, for medical examination.
Refused. William C Hawkes, 29, carter and general labourer, employers Messrs A F Lewis and Sons’.

Essex Weekly News, 21 July 1916
page 6, col 4. Military tribunal as before. Messrs Harrison Gray, maltsters, Witham, applied for exemption for Charles A Hansell[?], 39, working malting floorman. Mr E Copland Gray, for the applicants, said the man was rejected when he went to enlist[?] but within three weeks he received a notice calling him up. Up to the present Hansell had not had the opportunity of being examined at Warley. The normal staff at the malting was 14, and at present there were only eight. Hansell was the only man of military age. Six months postponement was granted.
Charles S Richardson, 31, threshing machine and steam plough owner and merchant, asked for exemption. He said he had been rejected three times by Army doctors. On the previous Friday he went to Warley and was passed either for general service or garrison duty abroad; there had been no official intimation. At the outbreak of war he and his partner Mr R W Wakelin, consulted together and as he (Richardson) had been in the Army before he said he would like to go. he offered his services, but had been unable to pass the Medical Boards. The War Office told him he could have a commission at any time if he could satisfy the doctors. Mr Laurence; They offered you something, didn’t they? Applicant; they offered me some civilian job at home, but I didn’t want that, I wanted foreign service. He added that the [???] was that his [???] had now joined an OTC and was expecting a commission any day. Mr Laurence suggested that the business could be carried on by the firm’s foreman and office staff; but applicant [???] at this suggestion. Mr Moss emphasised the importance of the business to agriculturists. The Tribunal granted postponement for six months.
George E A Lake, 27, steam haulage contractor, Witham, in his application said he had served seven years in the Essex Yeomanry, including over twelve months in France. During his absence his business had considerably gone down, and he submitted it would be very hard, in view of the fact that the had “done his bit”, if he had to go abroad again, while competitors would be able to serve his customers. He had an offer of munition work locally if he could obtain exemption; and he was also waiting to hear from the War Office in respect to a commission. The Chairman said he quite sympathised with applicant’s position, but on the other hand he was just the man the Army required. Conditional exemption, subject to applicant undertaking munition work, was granted.’
Postponement for employees of W Taber, Rivenhall and Frank J Cullen and  C Ratcliff, Hatfield Peverel, and J Taber, Rivenhall (mostly farmworkers). Also ‘Charles Jennings, 34, horseman, employer Trooper J Dean, Essex Yeomanry, final; Frederick R Parker, 29, butter, tea and margarine merchant Witham, two months.’
Conditional exemption. Some of same employers. Also ‘Samson Suckling, 38, Wethersfield, agricultural threshing machine and engine driver, and Alfred J Pentney, 41, engine driver and foreman of tackle, employers Messrs Richardson and Wakelin, Witham; Frederick Ottley, 39, baker, grocer and subpostmaster, Faulkbourn; Walter Haines, horseman, employer Mr R W Wakelin; Herbert E Pratt, 22, master baker, Witham’
Refused Stanley T Springett, 23, painter, employer Mr J Dean (personal appeal).

Essex Weekly News, 21 July 1916
page 6, col 4. Military tribunal as before.
Messrs Harrison Gray, maltsters, Witham, applied for exemption for Charles A Hansell[?], 39, working malting floorman. Mr E Copland Gray, for the applicants, said the man was rejected when he went to enlist[?] but within three weeks he received a notice calling him up. Up to the present Hansell had not had the opportunity of being examined at Warley. The normal staff at the malting was 14, and at present there were only eight. Hansell was the only man of military age. Six months postponement was granted.
Charles S Richardson, 31, threshing machine and steam plough owner and merchant, asked for exemption. He said he had been rejected three times by Army doctors. On the previous Friday he went to Warley and was passed either for general service or garrison duty abroad; there had been no official intimation. At the outbreak of war he and his partner Mr R W Wakelin, consulted together and as he (Richardson) had been in the Army before he said he would like to go. he offered his services, but had been unable to pass the Medical Boards. The War Office told him he could have a commission at any time if he could satisfy the doctors. Mr Laurence; They offered you something, didn’t they? Applicant; they offered me some civilian job at home, but I didn’t want that, I wanted foreign service. He added that the [???] was that his [???] had now joined an OTC and was expecting a commission any day. Mr Laurence suggested that the business could be carried on by the firm’s foreman and office staff; but applicant [???] at this suggestion. Mr Moss emphasised the importance of the business to agriculturists. The Tribunal granted postponement for six months.
George E A Lake, 27, steam haulage contractor, Witham, in his application said he had served seven years in the Essex Yeomanry, including over twelve months in France. During his absence his business had considerably gone down, and he submitted it would be very hard, in view of the fact that the had “done his bit”, if he had to go abroad again, while competitors would be able to serve his customers. He had an offer of munition work locally if he could obtain exemption; and he was also waiting to hear from the War Office in respect to a commission. The Chairman said he quite sympathised with applicant’s position, but on the other hand he was just the man the Army required. Conditional exemption, subject to applicant undertaking munition work, was granted.’
Postponement for employees of W Taber, Rivenhall and Frank J Cullen and  C Ratcliff, Hatfield Peverel, and J Taber, Rivenhall (mostly farmworkers). Also ‘Charles Jennings, 34, horseman, employer Trooper J Dean, Essex Yeomanry, final; Frederick R Parker, 29, butter, tea and margarine merchant Witham, two months.’
Conditional exemption. Some of same employers. Also ‘Samson Suckling, 38, Wethersfield, agricultural threshing machine and engine driver, and Alfred J Pentney, 41, engine driver and foreman of tackle, employers Messrs Richardson and Wakelin, Witham; Frederick Ottley, 39, baker, grocer and subpostmaster, Faulkbourn; Walter Haines, horseman, employer Mr R W Wakelin; Herbert E Pratt, 22, master baker, Witham’
Refused Stanley T Springett, 23, painter, employer Mr J Dean (personal appeal).

Essex Weekly News, 4 January 1918
Sloppy paths. Captain Abrey said pavements on Christmas Day were ‘dirty and sloppy’. ‘The Surveyor said he had not noticed that the paths were more than ordinarily sloppy, except at places occupied by the military’. Council men not at work.

Essex Weekly News, 1 February 1918
page 5, col 4.  Tribunal. Witham, chair, Mr W W Boulton, Messrs S Abrey, P Hutley JP CA, J E Smith, Eb Smith, W Taber, W Ward, Capt Howard National Service representative at Appeal Tribunal. Mr P Laurence JP and Mr E N R Pelly JP local National Service representatives. Mr J Polley agric rep. Mr E R Green, clerk.
Introduction re improvement in medical examinations now. Chair said glad, and mentioned case of Witham grocer passed B1 twice, sold business, then medically examined and told no good. Mr Hutley said public disgusted with case.
Further exemption granted: ‘Henry T Jell, 38, branch manager, employers R A Co-operative Society, 6 months … Frank Seager, 26, wheelwright, Witham, employer Mr J Boreham, Wickham Bishops, 3 months, with view to substitution …’
Referred: ‘James White, 28, canteen manager, Witham. C1, applied on grounds that he was doing work of national importance and also on physical and domestic grounds. Referred for examination by Medical Board …’

Essex Weekly News, 1 March 1918
Mr W G Naylor, Deputy Clerk, resigned because of increased work with national register.

UDC 25 March 1918
pages 441-42. No luck with getting Deputy Clerk. Letter from Clerk hoping for appointment to be kept open when return to civilian life but would resign if necessary. Agreed to accept and advertise for new one.

UDC 29 April 1918, Annual Meeting
page 451. Only one application for clerkship i.e. Mr F H Bright of Maldon. Accept. Capt Abrey expressed ‘regret that the Clerkship had gone out of the town’. Deputy Clerk to make arrangements. Thank Mr Naylor for work as Deputy and regret he couldn’t carry on.

UDC 27 May 1918
page 2.
Welcome Mr F H Bright, new Clerk to Council.

Essex Weekly News, 14 March 1919, page 6
‘Mr A G Crayfourd, Maldon Road … begs to announce that he has now returned from France demobilised, and is free to undertake the Tuning and Repair of Pianofortes as formerly. Tuning of the highest class. Chelmsford, Braintree, Kelvedon, Tiptree, Maldon and Coggeshall visited weekly’.[See Essex County Chronicle, 23 June 1916 for the refusal of his appeal against conscription]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.