Author Topic: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?  (Read 558 times)

Offline jaywit

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6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« on: Sunday 30 December 18 19:25 GMT (UK) »
This thought only just hit me.

I know my maternal grandfather didn't serve in WW1, he worked on the railway at the time.

I wondered if any of his 5 brothers served but I can't find any trace, OK I know it's possible records haven't  survived but it still seems funny none of them served.

Ages in 1914, the brothers would have been between 28 and 42 years of age
.
4 of them were working on the railway. the other 2 were farm workers. ( I have taken this from the 1911 census)


By 1939 one of the farm workers was working on the railway so he could have moved over before 1914.


Do you think it would be normal that not one of the family served in WW1?
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Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 30 December 18 19:41 GMT (UK) »
Many worked in certain reserved trades which were exempt from war service.  Anyone in food production, armaments, transport etc.

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My ancestors are probably turning in their graves, not that I can actually find any of them.

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Offline Johnf04

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Re: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 30 December 18 19:48 GMT (UK) »
I used to think that, of my paternal grandfather and his 5 brothers - born between 1878 and 1893. I have found one brother who served in the army, through recorded occupations and comments on the (Scottish) birth records of his children, which led me to his medal record card.
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Offline medpat

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Re: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 30 December 18 19:58 GMT (UK) »
Neither my father or his brother served during WW2 and neither did my mother's brother.

My father - making Spitfires from 1938, his brother health reasons, mother's brother on the railways.

My mother did though in the ATS  ;D
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Offline mazi

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Re: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 30 December 18 20:28 GMT (UK) »
Not only were they exempt, but on the railways their employers could refuse to let them sign up.
The railways in ww1 were the lifeblood of the nation, coal to scapa flow for the fleet, troop trains, ambulance trains, munition trains etc etc all had to go by rail.


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Offline jaybelnz

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Re: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 30 December 18 21:10 GMT (UK) »
My coalminer ancestors were also exempted from serving!  Also there were conscientious objectors, who refused to sign up for many different reasons!  They were much maligned by the public! 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/voices-of-the-first-world-war-conscientious-objection
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Offline jim1

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Re: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« Reply #6 on: Monday 31 December 18 10:20 GMT (UK) »
As you probably know around 70% of WW1 service records were destroyed in the blitz which makes it difficult to find someone who served without some other source.
I would say it is highly unusual that none of them did serve particularly after conscription in 1916.
Employers couldn't refuse to allow a man to serve. They could present themselves at a tribunal & give reasons but it was a matter for the tribunal if it succeeded.
Railway construction was big business on the Western Front.
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Offline Regorian

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Re: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« Reply #7 on: Monday 31 December 18 11:07 GMT (UK) »
My grandfather was one of 9 out of 12 children surviving to adulthood. 8 males and 1 female. He was 33 in 1914 but put on reserve as engine driver GWR. Other brothers were time expired, except for 1 other a Met. policeman in the Royal Dockyards from 1914 . The sister had a son and stepson. The son died of wound and amputation in France 1915 and the stepson at Gallipoli 1915.

Of grandfathers generation, sons, one was Royal Navy WWI and WWII. armoured cruiser HMS Achilles, see avatar, later battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth. CPO and on Malta in WWII during the siege. My fathers younger brother was 144 Squadron RAF lost night of 10/11th August 1940.  That's all I know of.     
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Offline jaywit

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Re: 6 Brothers not one served in WW1 Is that unusual?
« Reply #8 on: Monday 31 December 18 13:36 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for replies. It did seem strange that non of them served.

 I know railwaymen did serve, there is a quite large War Memorial to them at Derby which is where my grandfather worked.

I will keep looking, I thought I had found one of them, full name and year of birth were correct but actual date of birth was October when mine was born in April.
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UK Census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk