Thursday, October 2, 2014

Exemption Courts

This article is from the Dandenong Advertiser of October 26,  1916 and is an account of the activities of Dandenong Exemption Court held on October 17 before Mr Vivian Tanner, P.M. The Court heard applications from men from Springvale, Clayton, Keysborough, Dandenong and also from our area - so below are some of the applications and outcomes from men from the Shire of Cranbourne and the Shire of Berwick. 

Dandenong Advertiser of October 26,  1916

What was an Exemption Court?  The government made a proclamation at the beginning of October 1916 declaring all unmarried able-bodied men between the ages of 21 and 35 were to undertake military training leading to the possibility of service within the Commonwealth. All men meeting those criteria had to enrol at enrolment centres where they were assessed for suitability. However, there was a procedure whereby men classified as suitable could appeal and be granted exception from service.

Courts were set up in each Federal Electorate and men who wished to be exempt from military training had to fill out a form in duplicate, deliver it to the military registrar and they would then be able to put their case at the Exemption Court. The article from The Argus, below, outlines the process.

The Argus October 2, 1916

I have created a list of newspaper articles about the Exemption Courts on Trove, click here to access the list.

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