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WW1 conscription

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WW1 conscription

Postby Tobina » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:10 pm

My husband's 2 great uncles, born in Liverpool in 1890 & 1897, had an English mother & Swedish father. Would they have been conscripted in WW1?

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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:17 pm

Oh that's interesting...

I can't find the text of the Military Service Act right now (I'm on my phone) but I can find the article on the Long Long Trail website:
http://www.1914-1918.net/msa1916.html
That website clearly restricts conscription to British male subjects. Note that citizens of the Empire were, I think, considered as British subjects, but the Act is written to make it clear that Australian (say) citizens temporarily in the UK would be subject to the rules of their own government. (The Dominion of Australia never accepted conscription, in fact).

So that shifts the question to whether the 2 guys were British citizens - being born in the UK with a British born parent, present day rules would probably mean that they were entitled to UK citizenship but that doesn't mean that they were UK citizens at that time - unless you know better...

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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby junkers » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:47 pm

If the parents had been naturalised then they could have definitely been conscripted. As the father was Swedish it would depend on the Home Office view at the time which would have determined that the mother became Swedish when she married but as to whether the children were British, I think they probably would have been as they were born in UK.
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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:25 pm

I'm inclined to agree that the children would be British subjects.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_British_nationality_law is Wikipedia's article on the history of British nationality and in the section on "British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914" it says "British subject status was acquired as follows: birth within His Majesty's dominions ... " (my emphasis). That Act is on http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1914/17/pdfs/ukpga_19140017_en.pdf, where it says "The following persons shall be deemed to be natural-born British subjects, namely:-
"(a) Any person born within His Majesty's dominions and allegiance... "
I'm hoping that the "allegiance" bit refers to where someone is born.
The important bit here is that it says, "shall be deemed to be", and not "shall be entitled to be" - i.e. you are, not you can be if you ask.

However, this is the 1914 Act which is not retrospective - "Nothing in this section shall, except as otherwise expressly provided, affect the status of any person born before the commencement of this Act. "

The Wikipedia link does say in the "Early English and British nationality law" section that "Individuals born in the dominion [of the Crown] were citizens regardless of the status of their parents", so that seems to imply the situation was similar in the case of these Liverpool-born guys. I thought it worth describing the 1914 Act because a proper detail view of one thing can help inform our view of similar things.

So, all in all, I'm inclined to the view that they were British citizens (more informed views welcome!) and therefore could have been conscripted. Of course, they might also have volunteered anyway. Probably the simplest thing is to look, of course, but bear in mind that it can be impossible to see if an ordinary UK citizen was in the Army, thanks to the infamous Arnside St fire that destroyed so many records.
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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby Tobina » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:42 pm

Thanks for the replies. There are no WW1 records for these two & both disappear after the 1911 census so I think this is my brick wall!
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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby Woolhe » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:28 pm

In my tree I have English female marrying Swedish man named Charles Blomberg in 1894. One of their sons William John served with Welsh Regiment and died 2 December 1915 aged 17, listed by surname Blomberg on Loos memorial. Charles remarried after the death if his first wife, but remarried under the surname Bloomfield. All his children, except one who married in 1914, married under the surname Bloomfield.

Charles appears in the 1939 Register as Charles Hector Blombergor Bloomfield.

If you can't find your ancestors under their Swedish bane, try
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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby Woolhe » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:30 pm

If you can't find your ancestor under Swedish name, try anglisising it.
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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby ianbee » Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:12 pm

Is it possible for his age to have been three years out?
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services
Name: Tobin, William John
Official Number: SS112504
Place of Birth: Liverpool, Lancashire
Date of Birth: 01 November 1893
Date: [1912]
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Reference: ADM 188/1118/112504
Former reference in its original department: Vol No. SS112

Birth, Dec 1890 Liverpool 8b 49
Thorngreen, William John
mother Cleary

There certainly is no William John Tobin born anywhere in 1893
I searched for William John Thorngreen on ancestry, with a birth date of 1 Nov 1890, and it brought up a result from a personal/private member tree. Do they have the birth certificate?
Thorngreen is the Swedish guy, his widow Ellen later married Mr Tobin.

Tobina though has rejected my Tobin for Thorngreen theory.
Tobina wrote:& both disappear after the 1911 census so I think this is my brick wall!
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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby ianbee » Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:20 pm

ianbee wrote:Possible death? Dec 1933 Liverpool 8b 92
Tobin, William John
age 43
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Re: WW1 conscription

Postby ianbee » Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:31 pm

Actually, I got that wrong. The widowed Ellen Tobin married John Thorngreen.
So for her Thorngreen sons to have later used the name of her first husband is slightly odd, but it appears that it might well have happened.
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