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‘A very much abused body of men’

Military Service Tribunals were formed following the introduction of conscription in January 1916, to consider applications for exemption from men deemed by the new legislation to have enlisted. Swiftly, they gained two opposing yet equally unflattering reputations. In the eyes of the military, they were soft, obstructionist ‘old duffers’. To most of the men who came before them, the Tribunals were the unfeeling civilian arm of a remorseless grinding machine. This book, utilizing a rare surviving set of Tribunal records, challenges both perspectives. The Tribunals were charged with balancing the needs of the army with those of the localities from which their members were drawn; they received instructions, recommendations and polite guidance from their masters at Whitehall, yet each was in effect a sovereign body whose decisions could not be overturned other than by appeal to similar bodies. Wielding unprecedented power yet acutely sensitive to the contradictions inherent in their task, they were obliged, often at a conveyer belt's pace, to make decisions that often determined the fate of men, their families, and ultimately, their communities. That some of these decisions were capricious or even wrong is indisputable; the sparse historiography of the Tribunals has too often focused upon the idiosyncratic example while ignoring the wider, adverse impact of imprecise legislation, government hand-washing and short-term military exigencies. Evaluating in depth that impact, and illuminating the social dynamics which often marked proceedings in the Tribunal chamber, this study attempts to redress the balance of an enduringly damning historical judgment.

Laura Ugolini

•  4  • Civilians and military service Introduction In October 1914 Holcombe Ingleby and his wife received the news that their son Clement, a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, was on his way to the Front. As Ingleby explained to Clement, they hoped ‘that you will bear yourself like a man’, but could not help worrying ‘that anything may happen to you’. However, such fears were cancelled out by larger considerations: ‘the business has to be faced, and any man who doesn’t offer himself at this moment to his country is a cur’.1 Many – perhaps most

in Civvies
Tatiana Kotiukova

2 The exemption of peoples of Turkestan from universal military service as an antecedent to the 1916 revolt Tatiana Kotiukova In lieu of an introduction As a researcher I have long been preoccupied with the subject of “military service for the native population of Russian Turkestan”. After a year working in the Russian State Military History Archive, in 2010 I wrote a short article, which I  submitted for publication to the aptly-named Military History Journal (Voenno-​Istoricheskii Zhurnal). The editor felt that the title of my article was terribly dull

in The Central Asian Revolt of 1916

This book provides a critical exposition of the international law concerning child soldiers. It starts by looking at the situation of child soldiers in the world today, examining why children are recruited into armed forces and groups; why they volunteer for military service; and, once recruited, what treatment they receive. The book explores how perceptions of childhood and children's rights have changed, and how this has affected the ways in which child soldiers have been treated. It describes the activities of the United Nations with regard to the child soldier phenomenon. The book examines the legal regulation of the recruitment and use of children in hostilities. It shows that although international law comprehensively regulates the recruitment and use of child soldiers, owing to the plethora of treaties on the subject, states' obligations continue to differ and children can still lawfully be recruited and used to participate in armed conflict. The book discusses how, once recruited into armed forces and groups, international law treats child soldiers. It considers the status of child soldiers as combatants and as persons in the power of an adverse party in both international and internal armed conflicts, and states' obligations with regard the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of child soldiers. An unusual feature of how child soldiers are viewed is that they are often seen as both victims of human rights abuses and as human rights violators. Finally, the book examines the extent to which the recruitment and use of child soldiers is an international crime.

War resistance in apartheid South Africa

This book explores the gendered dynamics of apartheid-era South Africa's militarisation. It analyses the defiance of compulsory military service by individual white men, and the anti-apartheid activism of white men and women in the End Conscription Campaign (ECC), the most significant white anti-apartheid movement of South Africa. Militarized, white masculinity was a dominant model of masculinity that white men were encouraged to perform and white women were encouraged to admire. One of the most consistent features of pre-1994 South African society was progressive militarisation, in terms of both military preparedness and activity and the social conditions necessary for war making. The book then analyses the 1984 Citizenship Act as evidence that conscription was a transformative political act for the men who undertook it. The wider peace movement is also analysed as a transgressive sub-cultural space where radical political subjectivities could be formulated. The ECC's use of art, music and satire is assessed as a means to critique the militarisation of South African society. The role of women in the ECC, the feminist activism and the ways in which constructs of white femininity were addressed are also analysed. The book also explores the interconnections between militarisation, sexuality, race, homophobia and political authoritarianism. Finally, it conceptualises the state as premising its response to objectors on a need to assert and reinforce the gendered binaries of militarisation.

Daniel Conway

the nation-state system. (Kwon, 2000: 47) This process of gendered militarisation requires the active participation and consent of both men and women. South Africa was progressively militarised after the declaration of a republic in 1961: compulsory military service for all white men was a central and fundamental tenet of not only apartheid-era governance but also for the attainment of good citizenship and manhood for the white men who were conscripted. This chapter conceptualises how compulsory military service and conscientious objection to conscription are

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Abstract only
Daniel Conway

Conclusion Those are pivotal moments in a person’s life. The convergence of so many things in your life come together at that moment. I had a great sense of power, a great sense of control, a great sense of sadness … Every now and then in your life you’re really proud of yourself and that was one of those moments … Just a hugely powerful moment and twenty seconds later you’re downstairs and it’s a new world. (Charles Bester, on being sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for objection to military service in 1988, interview with the author, 13 September 2003

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Constructing militarised masculinities and citizenship in South Africa
Daniel Conway

Africa were defined and articulated by the state in ways that directly aided militarisation and the acceptance of conscription as a legitimate and essential act for men to perform. Indeed, as this chapter will argue, conscription was defined as a rite of passage and a privilege for men, who would supposedly discover and develop their essential masculine selves by performing military service. The interrelationship between military service as a positive constitutive act for oneself and the wider political community was profound. The boundaries between state discourse and

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Kerry Longhurst

conscription is an area of profound stasis, an anomaly warranting further investigation. In the face of ever-more acute strategic, economic and social challenges to the utility of compulsory military service since the ending of the Cold War, conscription was maintained and developed in Germany in the 1990s by both the CDU- and the SPD-led Government to enhance its relevance and thus ensure its survival. Moreover, the issue of conscription’s future, whenever it has been debated in Germany over the past decade, has been hampered by the overwhelming support given to the

in Germany and the use of force
Abstract only
Provenance, characteristics and issues
James McDermott

significant modifications to methods of recruitment. Calls for some form of compulsory military service for single men had been heard in Britain since the end of the South African War. Periodic war scares, the perceived physical deficiencies of the average workingclass British male and fears for the survival of traditional social mores had prompted prominent individuals and organizations such as the National Service League to press for models which emulated, to a greater or lesser degree, existing European systems. Juvenile ‘improvement’ organizations such as the Boy Scout

in British Military Service Tribunals, 1916–1918