HC Deb 22 February 1917 vol 90 cc1475-6W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that men of military age who are serving as officers in junior contingents, Officers' Training Corps, have been prevented from going on active service though they have repeatedly expressed the wish to go; and whether it is the policy of the War Office to keep these men at home?


The junior contingents of the Officers' Training Corps supply a number of cadets for the military colleges and for officer cadet units, thus fulfilling the purpose with which the corps was formed in 1908. It is of great importance that these youths should receive a sound preliminary training in military subjects before they leave school, in order that they should be fitted for the more advanced training which they have to undergo as cadets. The staffs of the schools have been seriously depleted, and a sufficient number of masters must remain to carry on the scholastic work, which is, from the military point of view, just as important as military training. For these reasons many officers of the Junior Contingents Officers' Training Corps have been informed that their applications to transfer to combatant units cannot be sanctioned, since the efficient training of their contingents cannot be wholly carried out by officers over military age or medically unfit. These gentlemen have rendered invaluable assistance in the training of potential officers and have given up time, usually devoted to private pursuits and at considerable financial sacrifice to themselves, to unpaid work in the Officers' Training Corps. The policy of the War Office in such cases is unaltered and it is felt that the interests of the country are best served by maintaining the efficiency of the Junior Contingents Officers' Training Corps and the ordinary education of future officers in the various branches of the Service. It is to be observed that in accordance with, the regulations of the Officers' Training Corps the services of all these officers are at the disposal of the Army Council.