A new resource for exploring the impact of WW1 conscription


In December we’ll be hosting a training workshop focusing on an important WW1 resource, newly available at the North Yorkshire County Record Office.

The introduction of conscription in Britain 100 years ago affected many men and their families in Yorkshire localities and beyond. However, men were allowed to appeal for a temporary exemption or, in special circumstances, for permanent exemption, on grounds of fitness or special family circumstances. Some were more valuable in jobs in Britain. The Act also allowed an appeal based on a conscientious objection to fighting. This raises a number of interesting questions which this new resource may start to answer:

  • How were personal decisions shaped by religious, political and voluntary organisations, and by the local press?
  • What do applications for exemption from conscription tell us about local employment, business and trade at the time?
  • How can we explain different views towards conscription within families?
  • How does the Yorkshire experience compare with other counties?

The workshop will be relevant to local and family history groups, voluntary organisations and individuals with an interest in this topic, and Yorkshire First World War projects.

It will develop skills in answering these and other questions, using North Yorkshire Military Appeals Tribunal papers, a recently available source. We will share a range of interesting examples, and explore how local projects investigate and publicise their findings.

There will be speakers from North Yorkshire County Record Office; Everyday Lives at War, University of Hertfordshire; York Quakers; Clements Hall Local History Group; and Explore York Libraries and Archives.


To book a place please download and print out the following booking form to complete. Then return it to us at Clements Hall, Nunthorpe Road, York YO23 1BW. If you have difficulty doing this please contact us on on 01904 466086 or email enquiries@clementshall.org.uk.

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