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Berwick only dealt with two well-reported tribunals involving conscious objectors in the First World War, Major Mike Fraser told the Rotary Club recently.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 15 February, 2016, 08:00

For a panel which could deal with 60 tribunals in a week, it was a low number, but local history was against those who did not want to join the forces where there were huge casualties.

One appellant, from Tweedmouth, was exempted.

The other, from Berwick, had his case adjourned when he refused a medical and there were no further press details.

Major Fraser is currently researching the tribunals, which were often complicated and difficult.

Introduced in 1916, the Berwick hearings were in the Town Hall.

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An appeal system was followed and that necessitated out-of-the-area travel.

The members of the panel faced the task of balancing the military needs against the impact on the local economy.

Berwick panels were all male and included businessmen, councillors, local personalities and one representing the unions. He was a railwayman.

They dealt fairly and thoroughly with difficult cases.