Saturday, 27 October 2012

Middlesex WW1 conscription appeals project

The National Archives at Kew ( and the Federation of Family History Societies ( have both announced that they are working jointly to transcribe and digitise the surviving conscription appeals records for Middlesex from the First World War held in the archive under MH47 - particularly useful for identifying conscientious objectors and their reasons for refusing to enlist. Most records were destroyed, but the Middlesex records were kept as an example of the record type. The full announcement is at with further details on the project accessible at

It should be noted that additional records from this class have also survived for Scotland, and are kept at the National Records of Scotland (, covering March 1916-October 1918 for the areas of Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders. These are held in Edinburgh under HH30 and in November 2008 were also being digitised and catalogued (as announced on my old Scottish GENES blog - see I have not consulted them, but presume they are now available on the Virtual Volumes system there, though I am open to correction on that! Examples of the Scottish records types, which I assume will be similar to their English counterparts, can be found at - as with England, the rest of the records were destroyed by order of the Government in 1921.

It should be noted that TNA at Kew also has a research guide entitled Looking for records of conscientious objectors at

UPDATE: The Scottish records quoted are searchable by keyword on the NRS catalogue at, using HH30 as the Reference number. I've just noticed this also on the National Records of Scotland catalogue, for other surviving records held for areas of Britain:

The NAS also hold a register of cases heard by the Appeal Tribunal for Fife and Kinross giving the case number (1-1,242) the applicant's name, address and occupation, the local tribunal from which they were appealing, and the decision. This can be found at SC20/82/1.

Other samples to have survived are the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal papers, held by The National Archives, Kew, and the Cardiganshire Appeal Tribunal papers, held by The National Library of Wales along with some chance survivals for other English counties which exist in certain local archives (e.g. Northamptonshire and Staffordshire).


Scotland 1750-1850 - 5 weeks online Pharos course, £45.99, taught by Chris Paton from 2 NOV 2012 - see
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)

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