Notices in this week’s newspapers have ended days of speculation. The British Government, it seems, has finally consented to a contingent of Militiamen leaving the Island for military service overseas.
Since the early days of the war, there has been a growing demand for Jersey to play a more active role in the conflict. Until now, however, the War Office has turned down a request to form a ‘Jersey Pals’ unit, although individual Militiamen have been permitted to join Kitchener’s ‘New Army’ since September. Given the apparently declining threat of a German attack from the Continent or a raid by enemy warships, the War Office has overturned an earlier decision that that the Militia has to remain at full strength.
Volunteers must be between 19 and 38-years-old, be at least 5ft 3in tall and have a chest size of 34½ inches. They have until 9 December to report their intention to join a Jersey contingent.
Depending on the number of men who come forward, there will either be a joint Channel Islands’ battalion formed from Jersey and Guernsey volunteers, or a Jersey company attached to a battalion in the British Army.