Herbert (Henry) Toes

Herbert Toes, Victoria St, York (also at Drake St in the same area). He was also known as Henry Toes.

Born 1896, by the time of the 1911 census he was a plumber’s apprentice aged 15, living in Victoria Street, Nunnery Lane. He was later a sorting clerk at York Post Office and member of the Old Priory Adult School.

He first appeared before the tribunal in March 1916, one of York’s first COs, was refused and then confirmed on appeal. He was arrested in August 1916 and handed over to the military two days later, found to be medically unfit and rejected. Re-examined in May 1917 and found to be in Bii category (able to walk 5 miles, see and hear sufficiently for ordinary purposes). He appeared before the tribunal again – Mrs Horner-Thompson, a Quaker, spoke for him – he was willing to work on a farm and had had offer of work in a London bakery, she also quoted the opinion of Brigadier-General Childs, of the War Office, concerning the inadvisability of sending COs into the army. When asked he said he would not join the Friends Ambulance Unit but was willing to leave himself in the hands of the Pelham Committee and asserted ‘all war is immoral and contrary to the teaching of Christ’.

His appeal was dismisse and we don’t know what happened to him after that. Herbert died in 1966.

His younger brother Arthur joined the RAF in April 1918 and died in October 1918 during the ‘100 days offensive’ on the Western Front. His older brother John (only 5ft 2 and a half inches with ‘very defective teeth’!) was in the army and survived the war.

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