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Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

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Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby meekhcs » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:42 am

Hello Everyone
Is there any way I can find out If someone was bought out of their Army Commission? Was it done and if so how easy was it to do and would there have been any stigma attached?
Family Lore has it that one of the Family was bought out of their commission by another Family member before the commencement of WW2.

Many thanks Sally
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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:38 pm

I've seen it once in my lot, when a guy was bought out - the transaction was noted on his service papers. So that would be the place to look but I have a suspicion from your phrasing, that your chap is post-1920 and therefore his papers will be with the MoD, so you or the next of kin need to contact the MoD, blah blah blah - I imagine you know the score on that by now but please say if you don't.

When you say "Commission" do you mean he was a Commissioned Officer? If he was, then he may be in the Army Lists for a short time - or he may have been bought out before they got round to recording his name.

Stigma? No idea - in general I would have thought not in peace-time - clearly a different matter if he was going to fight in some colonial conflict somewhere but got bought out instead of going. Frankly, I suspect that if it was a genuine, "This isn't for me..." situation, I suspect both sides might have been happy with the outcome.
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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby meekhcs » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:33 pm

Thanks Adrian
The fact that it would be recorded on his army papers doesn’t help me because family lore doesn’t mention which of two brothers the story refers to.
As it does not refer to our direct line I am not prepared to pay out for two sets of army records and associated costs.
Sally


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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby meekhcs » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:37 pm

Regarding the commission I am not sure if he was an Officer or not. The phrase used was “bought out of his commission” It would have happened in the 1930s but before the 1939 register was taken as both brothers appear on there.
Sally


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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:30 am

Sally - yes, I can understand your lack of desire to pay for 2 searches and papers!

Re officer's commission - OK - I have a vague feeling that "bought out of his commission" may be used generally to refer to buying anyone out, so the phrase may not be that meaningful, especially when used by civilians. The only reason I raised the officer angle was because of the possibility that an entry might appear in the Army List. However, if you don't know whether he was an officer, his absence might say nothing. Never mind the issue of trying to decide which Army List he'd be in - there are different sorts, I believe.

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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby meekhcs » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:09 am

Thanks Adrian

Unfortunately the Family name was Smith which adds to the problem.

What would the position have been concerning conscription for WW2?

The boys were born in 1914 and 1917.

I suspect it was the former who decided army life wasn't for him (or his Mother did having lived through the horrors of WW1!!). In the 1939 register he is recorded as a policeman, and I know he remained in the force until he retired. As a policeman (and corrrect me if I am wrong) I believe he would have been excempt from conscription. The latter was an engineer with a gun company in 1939.

The former didn't marry and the latter didn't have children. Their Mother was the sister of my husband's Gran, therefore his great Aunt. All the remaining lines from Gran's siblings have died out so my husband and his two younger cousins are all that are left so there is no one to ask. It will remain a mystery.

Sally
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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:46 am

Well you couldn't buy yourself out after conscription came in! :-)

I think policemen were on the list of reserved occupations in WW2.

Depending on what sort of an engineer he was, the other might also have been on the list in WW2 - it's not just the fact that the company had military value, it had to go by occupation within that company - office staff in that gun company would be liable for conscription.

Smith? Oh great.... Forget looking in Army Lists unless he was Theophilus Obadiah Smith! I guess you'll just have to wait until the MoD relinquishes its grip on the inter-war records and TNA (a) take them on and (b) allow access. All of which seems as distant as ever. Unless anyone knows different....
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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby meekhcs » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:24 pm

http://anguline.co.uk/Free/Reserved.pdf Provisional Reserved Occupation list 1939

I found the above online and both boys seem to be covered by the list.

Whichever one it was I presume they would have made sure they were in a reserved occupation so that they could not have been conscripted.

Sally
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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby brunes08 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:10 pm

If one was a commissioned officer, would there be an entry in The Gazette. As far as I remember, such appointments would have been published. As both were quite young by 1939, there would only be a few years to browse. I think you can search by name so it might be worth a go.


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Re: Resigning/Bought Out of a Commission

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:50 pm

brunes08 wrote:If one was a commissioned officer, would there be an entry in The Gazette. ...


D'oh - of course there should be - so my apologies for talking about the Army List (which only comes out every so often) when the London Gazette should cover it. And it should also, if I recall correctly, note the details of any resignation etc.

Points to remember:
1. Given that the Gazette is done by OCR, absence of any name might mean that he was an ordinary enlisted soldier - or the OCR went dodgy.

2. You need to check some samples to understand the style of naming at that time - John Smith or Smith, J etc.

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