War Diaries Talk

R.A.M.C. -DOCTORS -conditions of service?

  • LinsladeLad by LinsladeLad

    Currently working on 4th Cavalry Field Ambulance diary.

    Came across an unusual entry, where a Captain was returned to UK because his contract was at an end. This was in August 1917, & the war still had some time to run.

    As a Captain I assume he would have been a fully qualified doctor. Would his conditions of service have been different to officers in other corps?

    Regards Peter


  • HeatherC by HeatherC moderator

    There's an interesting thread which talks about this on the Great War Forum http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=132933

    It does indicate that some civilian doctors did sign up on fixed term contracts at the start of the war (a three year contract would fit perfectly with the timing you have here) and were released at the end of them because the need at home was becoming greater due to the numbers of civilian doctors who had joined up. He could also have been a medical student being sent home to complete studies.



  • David_Underdown by David_Underdown moderator

    More generally, enlistments could (and did) end. For other ranks, their basic service (12 years overall for regulars) was extended by a year by the war, but you would still be discharged at the end of the period (unless you opted to serve for 21 years and go on to pension). Territorial Force terms were for 4 years per enlistment. In both cases, by the latter part of the war you might still be liable for conscription after being discharged, and there were incentives (eg an extended home leave) for people to extend their terms and continue serving with their original unit.


  • LinsladeLad by LinsladeLad in response to HeatherC's comment.

    Thanks Heather - great link. This answers my questions.