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National Library of Wales
Cardiganshire Great War Tribunal (Appeals) records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 CARWAR

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Cardiganshire Great War Tribunal (Appeals) Records

Short Title: Cardiganshire Great War Tribunal (Appeals) records

Creation date(s): 1916-1918

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.258 cubic metres (9 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Cardiganshire Appeals Tribunal


Administrative/Biographical history: During the First World War, military service appeals tribunals were an integral part of the conscription system established by the Military Service Act 1916 (5 & 6 George 5 ch. 104.). This Act required adult males to register for military service unless they possessed a certificate of exemption. Exemption could be claimed on grounds of essential war work, ill-health, family dependants or conscientious objection. The tribunal system had a tripartite structure. Initial claims for exemptions were heard by a local tribunal, based on pre-existing district council boundaries; appeals against its decisions were heard by an appeals tribunal, based on county council/county borough boundaries, and further appeals could be passed on to a Central Tribunal in London. The system updated the pre-existing 'Derby scheme' (which was a voluntary recruiting scheme) and introduced appeals tribunals, with quasi-judicial powers. Exemptions granted could be permanent, conditional or temporary, and all were revocable. It was rare for Appeals Tribunals to change the status of an exemption granted. An absolute right of appeal existed both for the individual and for the military services, whose representative at the local tribunal could lodge an appeal if it was felt that exemption had been granted on improper grounds. The whole system was overseen by the Local Government Board, with some input from November 1917 by the Ministry of National Service. Two groups of men were dealt with by the tribunals. The first were the so-called 'attested' men, who had declared a willingness to serve under the Derby scheme; some of these had claimed temporary/conditional exemptions. The other group was those men who had made no declarations about willingness to serve. Both groups had the right to apply for exemption certificates under the Military Service Act. Those found to be making false claims could be imprisoned for six months. The secretarial duties were performed by a clerk, who, in the case of Cardiganshire, was Edgar Evans, clerk to Cardiganshire County Council. He appears to have been responsible for the records. All the records of tribunals were officially ordered to be destroyed by the Ministry of Health, as successor to the Local Government Board, in 1921, apart form the Middlesex Appeals records and those for Peebles in Scotland, which were exempted, but those for Cardiganshire, along with those for Northamptonshire, have survived.


Scope and content/abstract: Individual appeal case papers, 1916-1918; official handbooks, circulars and statutes used by the Appeals Tribunal, 1916-1918; minutes, correspondence and working papers, 1916-1918, with brief details of cases considered; register of attendance, 1916-1918; correspondence relating to expense claims, 1916-1918; Clerk of Tribunal's notebooks, 1916-1918, with rough notes of individual cases; letters relating to individual appeal cases and correspondence with the Central Tribunal; list of appeals heard by the Cardiganshire Appeal Tribunal, 1916-1918; District appeal papers (Applications for Exemption and Notices of Appeal) and associated correspondence, 1916-1918; applications for medical examination and miscellaneous documents that appear to have strayed from the office of Edgar Evans, relating to electoral arrangements, 1918-1919, together with correspondence relating to electoral registers, 1918.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: official handbooks, circulars and statutes; minutes, correspondence and working papers; district appeal papers; and miscellaneous.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed on-line.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records deposited at the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by George Eyre Evans and Sgt-Major Fear, 1924.



Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project; revised November 2007. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW Schedule of Cardiganshire Great War Tribunal (Appeals) Records; and e-mail, dated 5 October 2007, from William Hetherington, Honorary Archivist, Peace Pledge Union.

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: January 2003; revised October 2007.

Conscientious objection | Wales | Ceredigion
Draft | Wales | Ceredigion
Great Britain. | Local Government Board. | Cardiganshire Appeals Tribunal | Archives
Great Britain. | Ministry of National Service. | Cardiganshire Appeals Tribunal | Archives
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1914-1918 | Conscientious objectors | Wales | Ceredigion

Personal names

Corporate names
Great Britain | Local Government Board. Cardiganshire Appeals Tribunal
Great Britain | Ministry of National Service. Cardiganshire Appeals Tribunal

Cardiganshire (Wales)

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