Did Great Britain ever have a military draft??

Discussion in 'Military' started by ginscpy, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. ginscpy
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    ginscpy Senior Member

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    I m not sure they ever have.

    All the Brits that went over the-the-top in WW1 were volunteers.

    I dont think they had a draft in WW2 either.

    Tell me if I am wrong.

    They impressed American seamen which was a main cause of the War of 1812.
     
  2. ginscpy
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    ginscpy Senior Member

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    That lets the Beatles off the hook.

    Born around the early 40s - nevercalled to serve.

    Ringo had some healtrh problems - but as far as I know John Paul and George were perfectly fit.
     
  3. Swagger
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    Swagger Gold Member

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    Of course we did, in both world wars. We just called it 'conscription' instead of the draft. In any case, I think you'll find that most, if not all, militaries have implemented a form of mandatory military service in one form or another during times of military crisis.
     
  4. Colin
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    Colin Gold Member

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    Wrong! Conscription during WW2 applied to all healthy British males between 18 to 51 years old and females 20 to 30 years old. Only a few categories were exempted. Conscription in Britain continued after WW2 and all who were called up for what became known as National Service had to serve two years. Conscription ended in 1960.

    Conscription also applied in WW1. Initially to all single men aged 18 to 41. In 1916 this was extended to include married men and the age limit was raised to 51.
     
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  5. ginscpy
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    ginscpy Senior Member

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    So conscription in Great Britain was abandoned after WW2.

    Why Elvis was drafted and and none of the Beatles were .

    Just as well......................
     
  6. Colin
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    Colin Gold Member

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    Did you read my post? I said conscription continued until 1960! :cuckoo:
     
  7. ginscpy
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    ginscpy Senior Member

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    So did any of the Fab 4 do the National Service thing before 1960?

    (John would have been the oldest at 19 -born Oct 1940)
     
  8. mawlarky
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    mawlarky Member

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    Conscription and national service are different things, conscription only applies at time of war and not during peace time. Britian had conscription in both wars but the U.K which included Ireland in ww1 and N.I in ww2 did not , all the Irish who fought for Britain in both wars were all volunteers bar a few who went to Britain to sign up for the English regiments since they had a higher chance of getting out of a war alive, the Irish tended to be the front line troops hence the English still call an Irishman a Pikey in England which means pikeman or pike bearer (first men in, first to be killed), pikemen were aways at the front of an attack. Most people think the term Pikey comes from Turnpike ( a meeting of roads) but in relation to the Irish regiments of the British army the former is the correct meaning and is a massive insult to Irishmen to be called a Pikey which in fact means "worthless" or" dispensable".
    Captain Wilfred Spender of the Ulster Division's HQ staff after the Battle of the Somme was quoted in the press as saying, "I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the 1st. July, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world."[4] The final sentences of Captain Wilfred Spender's account furthered his viewpoint:[5]
    “ The Ulster Division has lost more than half the men who attacked and, in doing so, has sacrificed itself for the Empire which has treated them none too well. The much derided Ulster Volunteer Force has won a name which equals any in history. Their devotion, which no doubt has helped the advance elsewhere, deserved the gratitude of the British Empire. It is due to the memory of these brave fellows that their beloved Province shall be fairly treated. ”

    After the war had ended, King George V paid tribute to the 36th Division saying, "Throughout the long years of struggle ... the men of Ulster have proved how nobly they fight and die ...".[1]
    Shame the Irish are still treated like dirt by the English except when they need some fighting done.
     

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