Rank, deference and empathy

James McDermott

in British Military Service Tribunals, 1916–18

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719084775
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702673 | DOI:
Rank, deference and empathy

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Tribunalists came from widely different backgrounds and enjoyed markedly dissimilar expectations of themselves and their immediate society. In the early months of the Tribunal system, many single young men claimed to be the only, or sole remaining, support of a widowed mother or of incapacitated parents. The Tribunals were not part of that inadvertent social experiment. The cases presented offer evidence of the self-serving idiosyncrasies reported of tribunalists elsewhere. If Northampton Borough's treatment of W.P. Townley and Leslie Wiggins suggests a certain direction to their partialities, their quixotic behaviour upon other occasions makes simplistic conclusions problematic. The Appeals Tribunal matched Northampton Borough's predilection for the sentimental, even quixotic gesture. Appeals Tribunal were grateful to the Mayor for giving them the opportunity to affirm so robustly their egalitarian pretensions in the glare of local publicity.

Keywords: Tribunal system; tribunalists; Northampton Borough; W.P. Townley; Leslie Wiggins; Appeals Tribunal; egalitarian

Chapter.  11056 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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