Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Civilians into soldiersWar, the body and British Army recruits, 1939-45$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Emma Newlands

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088049

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088049.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use (for details see www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 12 December 2018



(p.26) 1 Examination
Civilians into soldiers

Emma Newlands

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores the army’s physical selection process, the first point in the transformation from civilian to soldier. It describes the various medical grades that men were assigned and discusses the qualities that were considered desirable for recruitment. It then looks at individual instances of examination to suggest that the medical inspection was not an objective assessment of the body but was shaped by wider social and cultural assumptions. The experiences of men who entered into this sorting system also reveal that examination could be a moment of contest and negotiation between the individual and the State. While some men tried to avoid enlistment by feigning illness or disease, others attempted to hide their disabilities in order to be recruited into the ranks. Moreover, these were negotiations in which individual members of the authorities were often complicit, as some examining doctors knowingly let unfit men pass through the selection process.

Keywords:   British Army, Recruitment, Medical inspection, Physical selection, Malingering

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.