'Rejected by Civil Practitioner'
Not all members of staff wishing to serve their country were able to do so. Some were rejected, usually on health grounds.
Harold Montague Sumsion, a clerk at Lloyds Bank's branch in Bourton-on-the-Water, was one of these.
The extract above is from the branch memoranda book. Dated 27th March 1917, it records that Harold was ‘Rejected by Civil Practitioner owing to tubercular trouble.’
Tuberculosis was a major health issue during the First World War, and one of the main reasons for military discharge. In 1915 alone, the disease claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people in Britain. Such was the scale of the problem that Sir William Osler, a leading medic of the time, referred to the fight against TB as the ‘Nation’s Greatest Domestic War’.
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