An example of an MH 47 file

26 October 2012

The National Archives, the Friends of The National Archives and the Federation of Family History Societies have embarked on a joint project to digitise and transcribe the MH 47 record series.

The series is a key collection of First World War records, including records of around 10,000 men who did not wish to see Army service, for a variety of reasons.

The files contain the minutes and papers from the Central Military Service Tribunal and Middlesex Appeal Tribunal as well as some selected papers of the Veterinary Tribunal and a printed set of minutes from the Central Medical War Committee.

These tribunal records include some fascinating and touching stories including a real life 'Saving Private Ryan', a butcher who was needed to help introduce meat rationing and a violinist from Poland. It is hoped that the digitisation of these case papers will help to open up these stories and stimulate new discussion about conscientious objection.

For more information on the project, visit

Project members will also be blogging about the records and the project progress at

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