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102   DAYS OF PREPARATION

The proclamation calling class one into active service, that is all unmarried men between twenty and thirty-four, was issued on October 13th, 1917, and these men had till November. 10th to report for service. The reporting consisted in going to the local post-office and filling in forms, the applicant either waiving exemption or claiming it. As it turned out, over ninety-five per cent. claimed exemption. The next step was with the local tribunals which began their sessions on November 8th, each case being taken up separately. In the mean-time medical boards sat at various centres and classified men according to the military physical standards. If a man was not fit for active service his securing exemption from a tribunal was only a matter of form.

The provisions in the Act for exemptions were drafted with the intention of placing each man where he could do the most good in the national cause. Tribunals were instructed to exempt men for any of the following reasons:

  1. That it is expedient in the national interest that the man should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in other work in which he is habitually engaged;

  2. That it is expedient in the national interest that the man should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in other work in which he wishes to be engaged and for which he has special qualifications;

  3. That it is expedient in the national interest that, instead of being employed in military service, he should continue to be educated or trained for any work for which he is then being educated or trained;

  4. That serious hardship would ensue, if the man were placed on active service, owing to his exceptional financial or business or domestic position;

  5. Ill-health or infirmity;

  6. That he conscientiously objects to the undertaking of combatant service and is prohibited from so doing by the tenets and articles of faith, in effect on the sixth day of July, 1917, of any organized religious denomination


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