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David Littlewood

Doctor of Philosophy, (History)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
The Tool and Instrument of the Military?: The Operations of the Military Service Tribunals in the East Central Division of the West Riding of Yorkshire and those of the Military Service Boards in New Zealand, 1916-1918

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Military Service Tribunals and Military Service Boards played a crucial role in Britain and New Zealand during the final years of the Great War. By determining appeals for exemption from conscription, they decided who would face death or injury at the front, and who would remain in relatively safety at home. Mr Littlewood conducted the first transnational examination of this subject, and differed from many other historians by looking beyond men who cited conscientious objections. He found that the British Tribunals operated in a localised and inconsistent fashion, whereas the appeals process in New Zealand was heavily influenced by government policy. Despite this significant discrepancy, Mr Littlewood concluded that appellants in both countries were more likely to be awarded some period of relief from military service than to have their conscription simply confirmed.

Associate Professor James Watson
Dr John Griffiths

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