The following sections lists the 1945 local service registers. Some of the people listed will have volunteered to join the forces, some will have been conscripted. Whatever the reason for their signing up the local service registers below are an example of just how many brave people from the very streets we live in were involved in WW2.
List of local service registers:
A note on Conscription
Conscription literally means compulsory military service. Unlike other European countries, Britain had always relied on volunteers to fight in times of war. When war broke out in September 1939, some men volunteered to join the armed services, but Britain could still only raise 875,000 men. Other European countries had kept conscription between the wars and were able to raise much larger armies than Britain. In October 1939 the British government announced that all men aged between 18 and 41 who were not working in ‘reserved occupations’ could be called to join the armed services if required. Conscription was by age and in October 1939 men aged between 20 and 23 were required to register to serve in one of the armed forces. They were allowed to choose between the army, the navy and the airforce.
There were several listed occupations that were essential to the war effort and stated that those employed in those jobs were exempt from conscription. These were:
Utility Workers – Water, Gas, Electricity
As the war continued men from the other registered age groups received their ‘call-up’ papers requiring them to serve in the armed forces. In 1941 single women aged between 20 and 30 were also conscripted. Women did not take part in the fighting but were required to take up work in reserved occupations – especially factories and farming – to enable men to be drafted into the services. Men who were too old, young or not completely fit joined the Home Guard, known as Dad’s Army.