Author Topic: Army Medical Catagories  (Read 31974 times)

Offline jac

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Army Medical Catagories
« on: Sunday 02 March 08 18:14 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

Is there a list available of the various Army medical catagories and what they meant?

My father in law's army record shows several medical catagories throughout his service eg A1 (which is obvious I suppose), it also mentions B1 & C2.

thanks,

Jac

Whittaker, Church & Oswaldtwistle, Lancs
Bembridge, Manchester, Lancs & Sheffield, Yorks
Orton, Lancs & Middlesex
Burtonwood, Bolton, Lancs
Quayle, Isle of Man
Holt, Bolton, Lancs
Malcolm, Co Durham & N. Yorkshire
Purvis, Co Durham
Livesley, Leigh, Lancs
Howarth, Bolton, Lancs
Cooper, Bolton, Lancs
McGinley, Liverpool & Ireland
Fryer, London & Essex

Offline scrimnet

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Re: Army Medical Catagories
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 16 March 08 20:12 GMT (UK) »
Sorry, just seen this...

This will explain all....

The development of the British Army’s system of medical
classification illustrates concepts that are very relevant to
modern occupational health. In 1939, there was a
mobilisation for war of the United Kingdom’s reserve
forces. These soldiers were placed in a number of medical
categories as follow:
A – fit for general service at home and abroad,
B – unfit for general service abroad but fit for base or
garrison service at home and abroad,
C – fit for home service only,
D – unfit for any form of military service.
The situation was complicated by the need to examine all
civilian recruits, both volunteers and those called up to the
Army. These examinations were performed by Civilian
Medical Boards which classified recruits into four grades,
the fourth being unfit for service.
These grades only took account of the physical and
medical condition of the recruit and made neither allowance
for where the recruit was to be sent nor for their employment.
Not surprisingly, there were complaints that recruits were
physically incapable of performing their duties.
What was needed was a system that translated the four
grades given by the Civilian Medical Boards into something
of use to the Army. This was critical because it was
essential to ensure the economical use of manpower. In
1940, a system of categories was selected by the Army as
follows:
· A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5: These seven categories
were based on vision in relation to shooting and driving,
physical endurance, the ability to march and the
manifestation of any other disease which would affect
military duty. The categories also had caveats which
determined both task and location worldwide.
· C: Home service only.
· D: Temporarily unfit.
· E: Permanently unfit.
The Army allocated a soldier to one of these categories
on the basis of the Civilian Medical Board grades. The
linkage was complex and never worked well.
The scale of the problem is worth noting. During the
Second World War, it is calculated that the Civilian Medical
Boards undertook over seven million examinations, taking
more than three and a half million hours. The results of the
examinations show that by the age of 37, only 44% were fit
for their age and 20% were unfit for service.
During the War, this classification system evolved but it
was never entirely satisfactory. By 1945, there were some
72 sub-categories. The key problem was the failure by
medical officers, when assessing physical capacity, to
distinguish between the mere existence of defect and what
result that defect had on functional ability.
Various developments were introduced. These included
the re-examination of recruits after one month in training
and the re-examination of personnel who had been
categorised as unfit for duty, before they were sent back to
duty. Various geographical qualifications were also
included to ensure that soldiers, who were basically fit but
could not go to the tropics, were employed in their highest
category.
The unsatisfactory situation resulted in the adoption of a
Canadian system, known as PULHEMS. The PULHEMS
acronym stands for the following qualities:
P – physical capacity, U – upper extremity, L – locomotion,
H – hearing, E – eyesight, M – mental capacity, S – stability
of emotions.
For each quality, the soldier is given a number. From this,
a PULHHEEMS profile, a series of numbers, is derived.
Note that an extra H and an extra E have been introduced
so that each ear and eye can be assessed separately. This
profile is used to place soldiers in an appropriate employment
by the use of PULHHEEMS Employment Standards which
provide a linkage to the type of work carried out by each
part of the Army and includes geographical restrictions.
The following is a simplification of the current British
Army’s PULHHEEMS System, which has developed over
50 years:
P2 – fully fit, P3 – light duties, P3R – pregnant, P7 – limited
duties, P8 – medically unfit, P0 – unfit, under medical care.
The P quality for overall physical capacity is the dominant
one. Recent developments have concluded that the
geographical limitations were unnecessarily restrictive
and more flexibility has been introduced.
The history of the introduction and development of the
PULHHEEMS System has been evolutionary. It has proved
remarkably robust. Since the end of the Cold War and with
the development of a more expeditionary army, there has
been a need to simplify it. Again...

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Offline jac

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Re: Army Medical Catagories
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 16 March 08 23:00 GMT (UK) »
Hi Scrimnet,

Really glad that you have just come across my post as I found your reply very interesting. I have also managed to speak to my father-in-law who is 87 years old & very deaf.  After being taken prisoner in Crete in 1941 & spending the rest of he war in Stalag 383 he admitted to "putting on a bit of an act" for the medical officer back in England after liberation; to ensure that he would not be sent abroad again!! so that's probably why C2 appears on his record.

Jac



Whittaker, Church & Oswaldtwistle, Lancs
Bembridge, Manchester, Lancs & Sheffield, Yorks
Orton, Lancs & Middlesex
Burtonwood, Bolton, Lancs
Quayle, Isle of Man
Holt, Bolton, Lancs
Malcolm, Co Durham & N. Yorkshire
Purvis, Co Durham
Livesley, Leigh, Lancs
Howarth, Bolton, Lancs
Cooper, Bolton, Lancs
McGinley, Liverpool & Ireland
Fryer, London & Essex

Offline MikeOz

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Re: Army Medical Catagories
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 21 February 15 03:55 GMT (UK) »
Excellent information! You note that there were 72 sub-categories. Any further information on these?
My mother's medical category was listed as AW1. I would hazard a guess that the W = woman.

Cheers

Mike


Offline daisy1942

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Re: Army Medical Catagories
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 11 April 18 15:31 BST (UK) »
Hi Scrimnet
From your post "D – unfit for any form of military service.  The situation was complicated by the need to examine all civilian recruits, both volunteers and those called up to the
Army. "  and "D: Temporarily unfit."

That is something of an understament as yesterday i found this: "Thomas Burke (No. 3324879) died on or shortly after 13/1/1942 Malaya Presumed Killed in action Category D"
Casey, Cunningham Burt Glasgow & Ireland,
Dobell, Bridgeman, London
Deavin London and France