HC Deb 11 March 1941 vol 369 cc1164-5W
Mr. J. P. Morris

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Haverford Silvester Ward, aged 18 years and two months, son of Lieutenant and Quartermaster Ward, wishes to join the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, armourers branch, as a regular soldier, but has been refused enlistment on the grounds that he is not yet 19 years of age; and, in view of the fact that he can strip and do repairs to.303 service rifle, is an expert shot, is a member of the Home Guard, is physically fit, and he wishes to make a career in the Army in which his forefathers have been serving regular soldiers since the battle of Waterloo, he will reconsider his decision?

Captain Margesson

The minimum age for enlistment in the Army on a normal regular engagement has been fixed, after careful consideration, at 19 years, and I do not think that it would be desirable to lower this limit. Youths of 18, however, if medically fit, may be enlisted for the duration of the war for training as tradesmen in certain trades, with the prospect of subsequently transferring to a normal regular engagement in the arm to which they are allotted after the completion of their training. Full particulars of this scheme may be obtained at any Army recruiting office.