Service with the British ARmy in the 1890s #general


This would have been voluntary enlistment. There was no conscription in
Britain until 1916.
I doubt if in the 1880s they looked at his birth certificate any more than
they did in the First World War.. There are plenty of stories of under-age
soldiers in the First World War who were obviously recruited without reference
to birth certificates.. A Jewish boy, Robert Barnett (real name Raphael
Gluckstein) , was killed on 19 December 1914, aged 15. The Commonwealth War
Graves Commission records that he was 'one of the youngest battle casualties
of the war'.

Harold Pollins
Oxford, England

In a message dated 29/11/2005 21:18:55 GMT Standard Time, writes:

In 1894, at the age of 18, my wife's great-grandfather was recruited in
the British Army.

His enlistment in the Grenadier Guards was for "Short Service (3 years
with the Colors, and 9 years in the Reserve.)"

Was this likely to have been a voluntary enlistment or a form of
compulsory "National Service"?

Would they have looked at his birth certificate or would they have taken
his stated age on trust?

Doug Mason
Australia >>>

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