The Redditch Military Service Tribunal Project: Records and Resources
- 3rd March 2021
Introduction to the Records
In 1921, the records of the Military Service Tribunals were ordered to be destroyed, except for the Middlesex Tribunal whose records were kept as a sample. Despite this some records survived elsewhere including records of the Redditch Military Service Tribunals. We are lucky to have the all the administrative registers covering the whole period of operation from 1915-1918 in which each application was logged and tracked by the Clerk of the Tribunal, G. Hobson who was also Clerk of the Redditch Urban District Council and a local solicitor. It is in the archive of the council in which we find these records. We also have letters sent to Hobson about the Tribunal mixed in with letters relating to his other. This provided us with a fantastic resource and allowed us to uncover all the local Redditch men who needed to apply to the Tribunal for exemptions from conscription.
About the Project
The Redditch Military Tribunal Project was developed as an additional project to compliment the work of the Worcestershire World War 100 project which came together in 2011 to make sure plans were co-ordinated across all the of organisations and individuals who would be interested in commemorating the centenary of the First World War. This project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as it was then known. Whilst that project officially closed in March 2019 this additional project was considered important to ensure that these vital records, which are currently uncatalogued were accessible and known to the public.
Similar projects and activities have developed in other regions with surviving records, including Mid-Staffordshire, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick District, Poplar, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire. The nature of these projects however has depended on what records survive, which varies from registers, correspondence, application or appeal papers. There is a list of surviving documents available to download from The National Archives on their Military Service Tribunal page.
In early 2020 we were able to train 6 volunteers to first transcribe the registers of the Tribunals and then to conduct some research in order to find out more about these men.
So, what did we produce?
Firstly, we transcribed the 6 registers which cover all the applications to the Tribunal so everyone can access the information at home. These are all available as pdfs so they can be downloaded and searched at home.