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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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By 1917, most younger men were already serving and older married men were now being called up to serve. The Military Tribunal system allowed men to appeal against their call up for a variety of reasons and the tribunal cases reported in the local paper reflect this increasing age profile. HORSHAM RURAL TRIBUNAL Barns Green carpenter, 40, three months. Attendant at Christ’s Hospital, 40, four months. WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES Jan 1917 Charley Parker, Allen Parker’s eldest son, received his call up papers early in 1917. Charley was 40 and married with 2 children. Like his father, he was a carpenter and was now foreman in charge of the family businesses building contracts. The family appealed to the Rural Tribunal and Charley was granted three months exemption. Frederick Goodall, the Hospital Orderly at Christ’s Hospital school was also called up, but by March 1917 the outbreak of measles was so severe that Itchingfield School closed for one week, and at Christ’s Hospital the epidemic was so serious that the onsite infirmary was filled with boys suffering from measles. Dr Upcott appealed to the tribunal on behalf of the orderly and 40 year old Frederick was given four months exemption from military service. In April 1917 Charley Parker’s exemption expired so the family were again in Horsham at the Rural Tribunal hearings. This time the tribunal turned them down, but recognising the difficulties for the business in losing a key employee, they did grant a five week stay. In May 1917 Charley left Barns Green to join the Royal Flying Corps as an Air Mechanic – his carpentry skills were highly sought after by the RFC whose planes were all constructed from wood! HORSHAM RURAL TRIBUNAL A Barns Green builder, with six sons applied for exemption of one aged 40, described as a foreman carpenter, passed for general service. Three sons were in the Army, one was a bricklayer and one a blacksmith. He had two other men, but this son was the mainstay of the lot - Exemption refused, but given five weeks by arrangement with the military. WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES April 1917