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National Service

by
10 February 2017

February 9th, 1917

IN THE presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prime Minister, and a distinguished and representative company, the Director of National Service, Mr Neville Chamberlain, outlined on Tuesday at the Central Hall, Westminster, his eagerly expected scheme. The object towards which it is directed is to supply the armies at the Fronts with fresh contingents of men of military age and fitness, and to find substitutes for them in the various industries and occupations which are deemed to be of national importance. To this end, every man between the ages of 18 and 61 is asked to obtain a form, “N.S.V.I.,” and fill it in with a statement of his circumstances, qualifications, and the kind of work that he thinks he is best fitted to do. Having done this, he is asked to submit to a personal examination and then to hold himself in readiness to be employed by the Government. In stating the terms of service, Mr Chamberlain was emphatic in asking volunteers to “make sacrifices” rather than to make it their aim “to better themselves”. Patriotism is to be the underlying motive, and the great objective the avoidance of another winter at war. It needs now that every man and woman in the country should make one supreme united effort to bring matters this year to a final decision, and should determine that such decision shall be in favour of the Allies. Those who are at the head of affairs tell us that this can be brought about if we all pull together.

 

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