Latest States’ figures show that 1,300 men have been called up for military service since its introduction in March this year. They come on top of those who voluntarily joined the armed forces since the war began, those already serving when the fighting commenced and those French nationals recalled to their nation’s military.
With the total number of men leaving to serve in one capacity or another now passing five thousand, some are asking whether Jersey has the capacity to give up many more.
There are indications that local employers are finding it increasingly challenging to replace men called up for service. Production – particularly on farms – is reportedly starting to decline accordingly. And it’s not only men in short supply – female workers are becoming harder to attract given the demand for them existing both locally and in the UK.
Yet with the war showing no signs of ending, and the heavy ongoing casualties unlikely to abate in the immediate future, the British Government is determined that Jersey continues contributing men to the armed forces. Quite what will happen if the war drags on into next year, no one dares ask.
D/AP/R/13/40 contains a number of items of correspondence dating to the last four months of 1917 that relate to the numbers of men called-up in Jersey.