Restructuring and Compulsion
During the course of 1917, the home forces would undergo further significant changes in character and composition. For the Volunteer Force the transition had begun in 1916 with the coming of conscription and the appearance of the military tribunals; in 1917, the impact of these developments provided the driving force for a major reorganization and reclassification of the movement. These changes were designed to shape, utilize and discipline the growing number of members who had joined not by their own volition but because they were obliged to. The influx of what amounted to a flood of often reluctant conscripts was a phenomenon which many of the original Volunteers resented, and they resigned in significant numbers. Those who remained out of loyalty to their comrades or duty to their country were compelled to drill and train with men whose reason for membership was often diametrically opposed to theirs. While the originals continued to worry about their own efficiency, finance and potential use, their new comrades were frequently more concerned about performing a stipulated number of drills to avoid having their exemption certificate withdrawn.
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