25th Apr 1919. Demobalisation Notes: Only 700,000 more

ONLY 700,000 MORE.

The total number of men still waiting to be demobilised from the Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force on April 10th was 727,200, composed as follows:
Officers.   Other Ranks     Total.
Navy        10,500       5,000               15,300
Army        45,300       669,200          705,500
R.A.F.      11,000        5,200              16,200
66,800       670,400           737,200

It is noticeable that the rate of demobilisation of officers has been very much slower than that of other ranks. Indeed, both in the Navy and in the Air Force 97 per rent, of other ranks have already been released, while the percentages of officers are 42 and just under 47 respectively. The disparity is not so great in the Army, where the percentages are roughly : Officers, 59 ; other ranks, 75.

It may also be added that nearly 74,000 soldiers and airmen passing through dispersal camps have signed on for the Army after the war, so that they have been deducted from the statements of numbers demobilised, as supplied by the War Office and Air Ministry.

I wrote some weeks ago under the above heading, at which time demobilisation figures were available down to the end of February. Now I have before me those down to April 3rd, when 2,399,483 men of all ranks had been demobilised from the Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force. The dispersal certificates of 2,100,275 of these have been analysed, and it appears that the following six industrial groups have received the biggest influxes of labour from the Forces combined : Engineering and Metal Trades, 267,225 ; Commercial and Clerical, 264,324 ; Coal and Shale Mining, 249,285 ; Agriculture, 194,348 ; Brick and Building Trades, 187,477 ; Railways and Transport, 189,731. It is noteworthy that the class Seamen and Fishermen, though it comes low down on the combined list, stands highest of all on the list for the Navy alone—29,060 such men having come out of the Navy, as compared with 20,681 from the Army and Air Force.

On what grounds are applications for out of work donation most commonly refused? It may surprise the assiduous critics of the scheme, which, by the way, comes to an end on November 25th next, as the Minister of Labour said last week, to hear that “ refusal to accept suitable employment ” is by far the most important count. A very recent summary of five weeks’ sittings of the Court of Referees shows that in nearly 52 per cent, of the cases analysed this was the reason for the stopping of the donation. In over 23 per cent. of the cases the recipient lost the donation because of leaving voluntarily the work found for him or her.

Altogether the Courts of Referees, from the time of their institution to the end of March, have heard over 82,000 cases. Out of the 67,351 of these which have been analysed, it appears that 70 per cent. of the claims have been disallowed—68 per cent. of the men’s claims, 77 of the women’s, 80 of the girls’, and no less than 89 of the boys’.

Lastly, 134 cases of suspected fraud in connection with claims have been referred to the official solicitor, with a view to prosecution ; and, as the reports in the Press have shown, some salutary sentences have been inflicted.

By the middle of April the number of Joint Industrial Councils set up under the Whitley Report was brought up to thirty-one, and already 1,800,800 workpeople are covered by these bodies. Mr. Wardle has told the House of Commons that in the near future the total of the workpeople covered will be no less than two millions and a-half ! Engineering, shipbuilding, mining, and railways still stand out against the scheme ; but the great majority of the other well-organised industries are or will soon be in. In the less organised industries the time is not yet ripe for the erection of councils, which can play so important a part in resettlement. In fact, organisation of an industry is a necessary preliminary to setting up a Whitley Council.

There have been many inquiries of late about the prospects of assistance which can be held out to ex-Service men who desire to proceed overseas in order to settle down. It may be useful, therefore, to draw attention to a statement made in the House of Commons recently by the Under Secretary for the Colonies. The Government have had the matter under consideration with the representatives of the Dominions, and the result is a clear-cut, well defined policy. In a word, ex-Service men who are accepted as approved settlers under any settlement scheme of the Overseas Government, or can show that they have assured employment awaiting them, and are otherwise acceptable to the authorities of the Dominion to which they wish to proceed, will be given free passages for themselves and their dependents to the nearest convenient port to their destination overseas.

The same privilege is to be granted to such women as have served in one of the recognised women’s service corps (including the Land Army), and who desire to proceed to an outlying part of the Empire. One must not forget, however, that in view of the prior claims of their own ex-service men for resettlement, the Dominion Government are not likely to be in a position to welcome any British ex-service settlers before the end of the present year, even if shipping should be available for the purpose before that date. A Colonial Office Committee is dealing with the matter in consultation with the overseas representatives.

The Government is making every effort to solve the problem of the demobilised educated man. The Appointments Department of the Ministry of Labour has been set up to act as “ slip ” down which it is hoped to re-launch the educated roan into happy prosperity. Any educated man who wants employment is interviewed by the department, and particulars of his qualifications and ambitions are elicited. From these particulars lists are drawn up, some of men immediately available and qualified for positions, others of men requiring further training to fit them to compete on promising terms. It is hoped most earnestly that employers of men of higher education will do their share. They can help enormously. These lists are circulated to the Branch Directorates through which the department works. They are situated all over the country, and employers are asked to help them by notifying them of any vacancy they may have on their staffs, and by consulting their lists, which contain many men of the highest aptitude and experience in every branch of business and industry.

The Minister of Labour has decided that in future the Divisional Councils and the Local Advisory Committees, which form so important a part of the Employment Exchange system, shall be known as “ Employment Councils ” and “ Employment Committees ” respectively with name of area with which they deal—e.g., “ Yorkshire and East Midlands Employment Council,” “ Brighton and Hove Employment Committee.” The change, which had been in contemplation for some months past, is in every way appropriate, and is not one in name only, for the old term was never altogether a happy one, and gave no adequate description of the work done by these important bodies. The new name shows clearly the functions of these bodies, which are directly concerned with employment and employment exchanges, and indicates their territorial character and their relation to the Ministry of Labour.


By Col. D F. LEWIS, C.B., County Commandant, Warwickshire Volunteer Corps.
Birmingham, 24th April, 1919.

DEATH.—The County Commandant deeply regrets to announce the sudden death, at Rugby, on 21st April, 1919, of Lieut.-Colonel F. F. Johnstone (late Bedfordshire Regiment), commanding 2nd Volunteer Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Colonel Johnstone has been a leader of the Volunteer Movement in Warwickshire since its inception in 1914.
He raised the 2nd Battalion, which he has commanded from start to finish. He also for a prolonged period concurrently commanded the 3rd Battalion
Lieut.-Colonel Johnstone’s influence has been of incalculable good. A gentleman in the highest sense, he brought a personal appeal to all ranks which was invaluable. A finished soldier and firm disciplinarian, he was of infinite value in raising, training, and maintaining a Volunteer Battalion. His death is a great loss to the Corps and above all to the County Commandant and Staff.
(Signed) D. F. LEWIS, Colonel,
County Commandant
Warwickshire Volunteer Corps.

NOTICE. The funeral of Lieut.-Colonel Johnstone will take place at Leamington Cemetery, on Monday, April 28th, at 1.15 p.m.


We regret this week to record the death of Lieut.-Col. F. F. Johnstone, which took place very suddenly at his residence, Hursley, Clifton Road, Rugby, on Tuesday, at the age of 69 years. Despite his age he was a remarkably active man, and enjoyed very good health, and on Monday he cycled to Overslade to take tea with his friend, Capt. M. E. T. Wratislaw.

Lieut.-Col. Johnstone joined the Bedfordshire Regt. as far back as 1868, and served with both the 1st and 2nd battalions, part of his service being in India. After leaving his regiment, he was employed at Sparkbrook factory, Birmingham, as superintendent. He retired from the service in 1899, and subsequently settled down at Leamington, where two of his sisters, Miss Johnstone and Mrs. Riley, reside.

On the outbreak of war he immediately placed his services at the disposal of the Government, and in 1915, when Col. H. H. Mulliner relinquished his post as recruiting officer for this area. Lieut.-Col. Johnstone was appointed his successor, and he continued in office till December, 1918. He was in charge of the recruiting arrangements at the invitation of the Derby Group Scheme, and the passing of the Military Service Acts, and it was largely owing to his energy, allied to a never failing tact, that the recruiting arrangements at Rugby passed off so smoothly. He was very popular with the members of the Advisory Committee, and the genial and obliging manner in which he dealt with applicants for exemption won him golden opinions on all hands. When recruiting passed under civilian control, Col. Johnstone was one of the few Army officers retained by the National Service Department.

When the Volunteer movement was initiated, he was living at Leamington where he took a very keen interest in the local detachment, and helped considerably in forwarding their training, as a result of which they approached a high state of efficiency. On his appointment to Rugby he transferred his active interest to the Rugby Corps. When the Volunteers gained official recognition, he was appointed Commandant of the 2nd Battalion of the Warwickshire Volunteer Regt., which comprised all the units of the county outside Birmingham, duties which he continued to perform with conspicuous success to the end.

He held a very high opinion of the B Company (Rugby), and frequently referred to it as the smartest Company in his Battalion.

It was a great disappointment to him that he was unable through rheumatism to be in command of the Battalion at the Brigade camp on Salisbury Plain last August.

He was very popular with all ranks, who appreciated his keenness on discipline.

The funeral will take place at the Cemetery, Leamington, at 1.15 on Monday. The service will be conducted by the Rector of Rugby, Canon C. M. Blagden, and it is expected that a detachment from the Rugby Volunteer Company will attend.

GEORGE BERNARD GREEN, son of Mr. Frederick and the late Mrs. Green, of 4 Gladstone Street, New Bilton, was reported wounded and missing on November 30, 1917, while in action near the village of Foka, Palestine. He is now believed to have died on that date. This is the second son Mr. Green has lost in the war.


On Monday most of the officers, men, and aeroplanes left Lilbourne aerodrome for Feltwell, a village in Norfolk, about fourteen or fifteen miles from Ely and Cambridge. A few officers and men have remained behind to clear up.

The aerodrome, which was opened in the summer of 1916, has been used as flying school in connection with the Midlands Headquarters of the R A F, and many of the young pilots who received their early training there subsequently achieved considerable renown at the front.

[At the annual Vestry meetings of the Parish Church and Holy Trinity Church, held at the Church House last (Thursday) evening]

Mr. Linnell brought forward the question of war memorials. He thought there should be some memorial in the church, if only a tablet. The Rector said this matter had not been lost sight of. He had, however, refrained from bringing it forward till the Town Scheme was thoroughly launched. There should be memorials in all the churches in the parishes. The only thing to do that evening was to appoint a committee. This was agreed to, and the following were appointed :—The Rector, Messrs. W. H. Linnell, G. E. Over, George, W. T. Coles Hodges, Harris, and J. C. Harrison.


CLEAVER.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. W. T. CLEAVER, eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. Cleaver, 17 East Street, who died in France on April 25, 1917.—“ God takes our loved ones from our homes, but never from our hearts.”

CORNISH.—In loving memory of EDWARD LOUIS CORNISH, 11th Royal Warwickshire, of Priors Marston. Killed in action April 23, 1917.

GREEN.—In loving memory of my dear husband, WALTER GREEN, killed in action in France, April 25, 1917.
“ Lost to sight, but to memory ever dear.”
—From his loving wife and child.

GREEN.—In loving memory of GEORGE BERNARD, the dearly beloved son of Mr. and the late Mrs. Green, 4 Gladstone Street, New Bilton.
—Sadly mourned by his Father, Brother, and sister.

GREEN.—In ever loving memory of our dear son and brother, WALTER EDMUND GREEN, youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Green, of Broadwell, who fell in action April 25, 1917.—Never forgotten.
—From his loving Father & Mother, Brothers & Sisters.

GREEN.—In loving memory of Pte J. H. GREEN, dearly beloved husband of Mrs. Green, 3 Sandown Road.—From his loving Wife and Children.

GRIFFITH.—In loving memory of Rifleman HERBERT GRIFFITH, who was killed in action on April 27, 1915.
“ This day brings back a memory
Of a loved one laid to rest,
And those who think of him to-day
Are those who loved him best.”
—From his loving Mother, Father, and Sisters (Kilsby).

GRIFFIN.—In loving memory of Rifleman WALTER GRIFFIN, beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. Griffin, Welford, killed in action April 24, 1918.
“ One of the dearest, one of the best.
We never thought when he left home
He would never more return ;
That he in death so soon would sleep,
And leave us here to mourn.”
—From his loving Dad and Mother and Sister.

JONES.—In loving memory of our dear father, Pte. F. J. JONES, King’s Royal Rifles, who was killed in action on April 25, 1918.—“ Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away.”—Ivy, Leslie, and Muriel.

JONES.—In loving memory of Second-Lieut. EVAN HARRIES JONES, M.C., R.F.A., second son of Mr. & Mrs. J. Jones, of Cosford, killed in action in France on April 25, 1918, aged 22 years.

OWEN.—In loving memory of Pte. G. E. (TAS), Royal Warwicks, reported missing, presumed killed, April 25, 1915.
“ Fresh in our hearts his memory clings,
Yet still our grief is sore ;
Not dead to those who loved him,
Not lost, but gone before.”
—Ever in the thoughts of Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

PYWELL.—In loving memory of Sergt. F. W. PYWELL, killed in action at Gouzecourt Wood, Easter Monday, 1917.
That we might live they died.
Hail and farewell.
Their courage tried by every mean device of treacherous hate,
Like kings they died.”
—Ever mourned by Fathers, Sisters, Wife & Son.

WELCH.—In loving memory of L.-Corpl. E. E. WELCH, killed in action April 29, 1917.
—Not forgotten by his loving Wife and daughters.

WELCH.—In loving memory of our brother-in-law, Lance-Corpl. E. WELCH, killed in France on April 28, 1917.—Ever remembered by Erne, Fred, and Ethel Lenton, 64 Wood Street.

WELCH.—In loving memory of our dear brother ERNEST E. WELCH, who was killed in action in France on April 28, 1917.—Not forgotten by Thos. & E. Lenton.

YOUNG.—In ever loving memory of our dear and only son BILLY, Pte. WILLIAM COTTERILL YOUNG, who was killed in action in Salonika on April 24, 1917, in his 25th year.
“ Father, in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now our loved one sleeping.
Till the day dawns and the shadows flee away.”
—Dearly loved and sadly missed from his Father, Mother, and Sisters, Pinfold St., New Bilton.

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