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National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939

Parliament of the United Kingdom on 3 September 1939, the day the United Kingdom declared war on Germany at the start of the Second World War.[1] It superseded the Military Training Act 1939 (passed in May of that year) and enforced full conscription on all males between 18 and 41 who were residents in the UK.[1] It was continued in a modified form in peacetime by the National Service Act 1948.


  • Exemptions 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


  • Medically unfit as well as the blind, disabled, and those with mental disorders
  • British subjects from outside Britain and the Isle of Man who had lived in the country for less than two years
  • Students
  • Persons employed by the government of any country of the British Empire except the United Kingdom
  • Clergy of any denomination
  • Married women
  • Women who had one or more children 14 years old or younger living with them. This included their own children, legitimate or illegitimate, stepchildren, and adopted children, as long as the child was adopted before 18 December 1941. Pregnant women were liable to be called up but in practice were not.
  • Conscientious objectors
  • People working in reserved occupations like baking, farming, medicine, and engineering.

See also


  1. ^

2. Broad, Roger, Conscription in Britain 1939-64: The Militarisation of a Generation (Abingdon Routledge, 20060

External links

  • (Parliamentary documents on National Service)
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