Military Service Act 1916

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1916 c. 104
Year1916


Military Service Act, 1916,

(5 & 6 Geo. 5.) 104.

An Act to make provision with respect to Military Service in connexion with the present War.

[27th January 1916]

Be enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

S-1 Obligation of unmarried men to serve.

1 Obligation of unmarried men to serve.

(1) Every male British subject who—

(a ) on the fifteenth day of August nineteen hundred and fifteen, was ordinarily resident in Great Britain, and had attained the age of eighteen years and had not attained the age of forty-one years; and

(b ) on the second day of November nineteen hundred and fifteen was unmarried or was a widower without any child dependent on him;

shall, unless he either is within the exceptions set out in the First Schedule to this Act, or has attained the age of forty-one years before the appointed date, be deemed as from the appointed date to have been duly enlisted in His Majesty's regular forces for general service with the colours or in the reserve for the period of the war, and to have been forthwith transferred to the reserve.

(2) The Army Act (with the exception of section ninety-six thereof, which relates to the claim of masters to apprentices) and the Reserve Forces Acts, 1882 to 1907, and any orders and regulations made thereunder, shall apply accordingly to any man who is so deemed to have been enlisted and transferred to the reserve; and if any question arises in any legal proceeding under any of those Acts, orders, or regulations whether any man is a man who is under this section deemed to have been enlisted and transferred to the reserve or not, the court may require the man to give evidence on the question, and if satisfactory evidence is not given to the contrary the man shall be deemed to have been so enlisted and transferred;

Provided that—

(a ) where the question, whether a man is a man who, under this section is deemed to have been enlisted and transferred to the reserve or not, is raised on proceedings in respect of an offence alleged to have been committed by the man as a member of the reserve whilst he was a member of the reserve in pursuance of the transfer under this Act, or in respect of any alleged failure to comply with any order calling him up from the reserve for permanent service, that question shall be decided only on proceedings before a civil court; and

(b ) no such proceedings shall be instituted except during the continuance of the present war and a period of six months thereafter; and

(c ) a man who is deemed to have been enlisted and transferred to the reserve under this section shall not be liable to suffer death in respect of failure to obey an order calling him up from the reserve for permanent service.

(3) Provision shall be made under section twenty of the Reserve Forces Act, 1882 , for information being obtained from men who are transferred to the reserve under this section as to preference for naval service, and the Admiralty shall have the first call on such men in case their services are needed for that purpose.

(4) This section shall apply to any male British subject who, since the fifteenth day of August nineteen hundred and fifteen, has become or hereafter becomes ordinarily resident in Great Britain in the same manner as it applies to a male British subject who was ordinarily resident in Great Britain on the fifteenth day of August nineteen hundred and fifteen, with the substitution in the case of a man becoming so resident after the appointed date of the thirtieth day after he has become so resident for the appointed date.

S-2 Certificates of exemption.

2 Certificates of exemption.

(1) An application may be made at any time before the appointed date to the Local Tribunal established under this Act by or in respect of any man for the issue to him of a certificate of exemption from the provisions of this Act—

(a ) on the ground that it is expedient in the national interests that he should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in other work in which he is habitually engaged or in which he wishes to be engaged or, if he is being educated or trained for any work, that he should continue to be so educated or trained; or

(b ) on the ground that serious hardship would ensue, if the man were called up for Army Service, owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position; or

(c ) on the ground of in health or infirmity; or

(d ) on the ground of a conscientious objection to the undertaking of combatant service;

and the Local Tribunal, if they consider the grounds of the application established, shall grant such a certificate.

The Local Tribunal may allow all application to be made after the appointed date in any case in which it is shown to their satisfaction that the failure to make the application within the required time has arisen...

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