ANOTHER CASE OF PETTY TYRANNY

From The Tribunal October 18 1917

This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No Conscription Fellowship’s journal, published in the UK between March 1916 and November 1918
For other extracts go to: http://nfpb.org.uk/tribunal

…It may be of some interest in connection with Bennet Wallis’s case to mention that another comrade who is now at Wakefield has received similar treatment from the Home Office Committee. This man had had several teeth extracted, and was waiting for the gums to heal before having a set fitted, when he was arrested under the Military Service Acts. After accepting the Home Office scheme, he wrote to the H.O.C. asking for leave for the purpose of going to his dentist, but this was refused on the ground that he would be able to earn leave later. He was subsequently sent to Denton Camp, Newhaven, and as he was suffering severely from indigestion, he applied to Mr. Foster, the agent, for leave of absence. This the agent refused on the ground that the H.O.C. had definitely stated that no leave was to be granted to men to have their teeth put right. As our comrade had already paid £1 deposit to his own dentist on the set of teeth he hoped to have fitted, he could not afford to go to another dentist instead. Later he became ill, and was certified by the doctor to be suffering from “dyspepsia, solely due to deficiency of teeth.” He was then ordered to Wakefield, and on the way managed to secure an interview with Mr. Hunt of the Home Office Committee, who, after much persuasion and argument, arranged that he should transferred for a time to the Chelsea Work Centre, withing reach of his dentist. This was just a year since his teeth had been extracted! After this lapse of time the dentist had to extract more teeth, and in spite of all protests the man was sent back to Wakefield before he had been fitted with a new set. Thus, although it was in August 1916, that his teeth were first extracted, our friend, owing to the petty tyranny of the H.O.C., is still obliged to endure the weakness and pain due to the lack of a new set.

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