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Conscription and the Attlee GovernmentsThe Politics and Policy of National Service 1945–1951$

L. V. Scott

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198204213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204213.001.0001

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(p.278) Appendix 2 Demobilization

(p.278) Appendix 2 Demobilization

Source:
Conscription and the Attlee Governments
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

The scheme of release from the forces after the end of hostilities provided for two classes: A, based on age and length of service, and B, out-of-turn release for those employed in essential occupations in reconstruction. There was also provision for release on compassionate or medical grounds. Class A began to be released from 18 June 1945; Class B from 16July 1945.

The scheme terminated in March 1949 when all men and women called up by 31 December 1946 had been released, except those who voluntarily extended their service. Those conscripted after 1 January 1947 served for fixed periods.

(p.279)

Table A2.1. Total numbers released, 18 June 1945–31 March 1949a

 

Men

Women

Total

By period

 

 

 

1945 (June-Dec.)

1,342,110

172,480

1,514,590

1946

2,545,210

231,050

2,776,260

1947

591,650

46,690

638,340

1948

505,210

24,650

529,860

1949 (Jan.-Mar.)

81,420

3,490

84,910

    Total

5,065,600

478,360

5,543,960

By service

 

 

 

Royal Navy

748,890

81,510

866,400

Army

3,207,310

229,650

3,436,960

RAF

1,073,000

167,200

1,240,600

    Total

5,065,600

478,360

5,543,960

By category b

 

 

 

Class A

4,369,000

421,170

4,790,170

Class B

288,150

4,220

292,370

Other releases and discharges

375,000

53,970

427,970

1947–8 National Service

33,450

33,450

    Total

5,065,000

478,360

5,543,960

a The peak was reached at the end of 1945/beginning of 1946 when between November 1945 and March 1946 1,957,000 were demobilized.

b Class A constituted about 87%, Class B 5% of releases. The Class B scheme was substantially finished by the end of 1946 when 276,000 had been released. The principal categories of Class B were: building/civil engineering: 154,300; agriculture: 22,800; coalmining: 16,300; textiles: 9,500; police: 6,500; schoolteachers: 9,000; students: 9,200.

Source: Ministry of Labour Gazette, 57/5 (May 1949).