Monday, 2 April 2007

Chapter 19: 1st Conscription Referendum October 28, 1916

From: John Laffin Western Front 1917-1918 The Cost of Victory. Time-Life books, North Sydney 1988. (p. 33)

October 28 1916 : National Referendum on Conscription. The result was:

For: 1 087 557
Against: 1 160 033

In France, Belgium and Britain the troops voted by secret ballot, with 79 399 for and 58 894 against. Most of hose men actually at the front voted "No". Some did so because they would not bring their worst enemies into the hell of the Western Front. Other fighting men, including nearly all officers and most of the NCO's believed that proud volunteers should not have to mix with unwilling conscripts, and that the AIF's morale would suffer.

I wonder how my grandfather voted? Earlier, in a letter home from Egypt he had expressed his opposition to Conscription.

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