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Compulsory military training and conscription
Title : Compulsory military training and conscription Compulsory military training and conscription
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Date of creation : ca. 1911
Format : Photograph
Catalogue record
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Description :
The 1909 Commonwealth Defence Act sought to introduce compulsory military training for all Australian boys aged between 14 and 17 years. The Act contained no adequate conscience clause and despite attempts by politicians such as Sir Frederick Holder (a devout Methodist) and vigorous campaigns by Quakers in particular - including meetings with the Prime Minister - the legislation came into effect on 1 July 1911. The Quakers objected not so much to the training as to their sons having to bear arms. J. Herbert Thorp, an Adelaide Quaker, with ministers from other denominations, formed the Anti-Military Service League, and later the Australian Freedom League. The latter was particularly strong in South Australia and Victoria, and remained active during the two conscription referendums of the First World War. Boys were jailed for non-compliance, as in the case of a 15 year old Adelaide Quaker, Herbert Ingle, who was imprisoned at Fort Largs for 15 days in 1913. His father, William Ingle, was given two weeks hard labour for allowing his son to resist the law. The family were vilified in the Adelaide press, and moved to England as a result. Fifty years later, during the Vietnam War, similar protests were to be repeated.
Related names :

Holder, Frederick, Sir, 1850-1909

Ingle, Herbert

Ingle, William

Thorp, J. Herbert

Australia. Commonwealth Defence Act 1909

Fort Largs (S. Aust.)

Society of Friends

Coverage year : 1911
Place : Adelaide (S. Aust.)
Further reading :
State Library of South Australia. Conscription and enlistment, [Adelaide]: State Library of South Australia, 1997
Stevenson, Charles. The millionth snowflake: the history of Quakers in South Australia, North Adelaide, S. Aust.: The Religious Society of Friends (Adelaide Meeting), 1987
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