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27th January 1916 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day

27th January 1916

On this day:

  • Conscription introduced   Conscription is introduced in Britain by the Military Service Act, nicknamed the "Batchelor's Bill" as unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 41 were conscripted. It was an unpopular move even amongst the higher ranks of the army. Lord Roberts, The British Army commander in South Africa stated: "Compulsory service is, I believe, as distasteful to the nation as it is incompatible with the conditions of an Army like ours, which has such a large proportion of its units on foreign service. I hold moreover, that the man who voluntarily serves his country is more to be relied upon as a good fighting soldier than is he who is compelled to bear arms."

    It was however the only option to maintain the British Army, which had by the end of 1915, lost 528,227 men, killed, wounded or missing presumed dead and volunteers to 'Kitchener's Army' had dried up.

    The Military Service Act did include a 'conscience clause' which allowed the right for those who had a 'conscientious objection to bearing arms' to argue their case as to why they should not be called up to join the army in a tribunal. The reasons for registering as a 'conscientious objector' included those who were pacifists who disagreed with the war, political objectors who did not consider Germany to be their enemy and religious objectors including the Quakers and Jehovah Witnesses.

    Many conscientious objectors refused to bare arms, but were willing to take on a non-combat role such as working in a munitions factory or working as a stretcher barer or in the medical services. Others refused to engage in any activities connected with the war and were known as 'absolutists'.

  • Heavy Bombardment   6th County of London Brigade RFA report an extraordinarily heavy bombardment took place on our trenches during the morning and Lowe Group Batteries spent much ammunition in retaliation. At 1300 the hostile bombardment suddenly ceased and the afternoon was fairly quiet. Maroc Church Tower was knocked down by 5.9 shells. Lowe Group Batteries fired on their right lines during the night. The Germans made a small attack on a battalion frontage near Puits 14 but they achieved nothing. The day passed off without any further trouble.

    War Diaries

  • 27th Jan 1916 7 Northumberlands to Camp

  • 27th Jan 1916 In the Trenches

  • 27th Jan 1916 Training

  • 27th Jan 1916 Emergeny Scheme

  • 27th Jan 1916 Hard Work

  • 27th Jan 1916 Working Parties

  • 27th Jul 1916 Drill

Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of a unit on a particular day? Do you have a copy of an official war diary entry? Details of an an incident? The loss of a ship? A letter, postcard, photo or any other interesting snipts?

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Want to know more?

There are:9 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. Andrew Menzies. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 10th Btn. Read their Story.

    Add a name to this list.

  • Items from the Home Front Archive

    Do you have any letters, photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia from the Great War? We would love to include copies. Please use this form to submit diary entries and letters or photographs for this new Section: add to this archive.

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