With Britain’s new Military Service Act coming into force at the start of March, the bailiffs of Jersey and Guernsey are planning to meet and discuss the implications for Channel Islanders.
After the Derby Campaign failed to encourage enough single men to attest for military service, the British parliament decided the only alternative was bringing in conscription. Having received Royal Assent in February, the new act came into force on 2 March 1916.
Unlike other wartime regulations, this new law does not automatically apply to the Crown Dependencies. There seems to be a general expectation on behalf of the British Government, however, that Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man should implement the same principles as soon as possible. The purpose of the inter-island conference, which will take place in Guernsey this week, is to ensure a consistent approach by the governments of both islands to the question of compulsory military service.
It had been originally been hoped that this consistent approach could extent to the Isle of Man. But this was dashed by the news that the government of that Crown Dependency agreed to adopt Britain’s law as written.
Associated Record: A/E/3 contains correspondence from the Bailiff of Jersey to his Guernsey counterpart on setting up a conference on military service and outlining his views on the matter.