Amid a growing number of calls for Jersey to do more in support of the war effort, there has been news this week that a contingent of Militiamen have been offered for overseas service. The Lieutenant Governor formally announced the news in the States, much to the satisfaction of Members.
The offer follows considerable confusion in the last few weeks over whether or not Militiamen would be permitted to respond to the Kitchener recruitment campaign, which is achieving extraordinary results in Britain. The German advances in August and early September resulted in a ban on any Militiamen leaving the Island. Recent Allied success has lessened the threat, however, leading to questions over why 4,000 trained soldiers are required to defend Jersey.
After a decision this week to allow individual Militiamen to volunteer for Kitchener’s ‘New Army’, it appears that behind the scenes the authorities had also been preparing to offer a formal ‘Jersey Contingent’. That offer has now been placed in front of the War Office, with a response expected imminently.