I've just read about 2 lieutenants who were struck off the strength of the Battalion. This sounds a bit harsh - had they done something wrong, or does it just mean they were transferred to another unit?
by simonedi moderator
hard to say... is there any other information on the page or nearby about them? My guess is they were transferred, left, or long term injury.. so they were struck off the list of serving men in that group.. if there is a court martial or anything mentioned then it was trouble
Being struck off strength is not a disciplinary measure - it is an admin term.
Each 'unit' would have an 'establishment' i.e. how many people of each rank it was entitled to have. The 'strength' of the unit is how many it ACTUALLY has in person.
When a person is struck off strength it simply means that they no longer count towards that unit's strength and that particular place can then be filled with a replacement Often occurs when people are wounded. If they are in hospital it would be unfair to a unit if they still were shown on that unit's strength but were not actually available.
There is a rather long version of the reason but the simple reason being is that the Unit is no longer paid for feeding and accommodating the person, nor supplied with the Clothing and Equipment for someone who has been "Struck Off Strength".
Even when a person is wounded, in hospital, on a training course etc he is still "On Strength". (If it became obvious that a wounded person would not be returning to the Unit due to their injuries then they would be "Struck Off" but this would not be the case as soon as they were wounded, after all they could be "patched-up" and sent back to their unit...as most of them were.)
The same premise applied to those who fell ill with illnesses such as Typhoid, Influenza, Trench Foot, Trench Fever, etc.
He may be "Struck off Strength" after being posted to a new unit, (due to Promotion, obtaining a Commission, change of trade/craft etc), leaving the service (end of service etc), demobbed, being officially declared a deserter and of course at their death.
Hope this makes sense, I know I do tend to ramble on...