Many people will find when researching a soldier that he was said to have been discharged under a regulation stated to be “A.O.2(b)” with a date of 10 August 1917. An example, which is part of the roll of the Silver War Badge, is shown below:
You may also see “A.O.11” instead.
You may be wondering what this regulation refers to. I am afraid that you may be looking for a long time, for it is a mistake. The actual regulation is Army Order 265 II of 10 August 1917. Somewhere along the line, the 265 was omitted and the “II” incorrectly rendered as “2” or “11”.
Army Order 265 II of 10 August 1917
This Order was an amendment to the conditions governing the issue of the Siver War Badge. Paragraph 1 simply said that the King had approved the amendment. Paragraph 2 introduced certain classifications:
(a) those who, having served as officers and being still of military age, have retired, resigned or relinquished their commissions:
(i) after service overseas in the armed Forces of the Crown, on account of disablement or ill-health caused otherwise than by misconduct;
(ii) after service at Home, and have been medically examined and finally discharged from liability to further military service under sub-section (5) of Section 1 of the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act 1917, as permanently and totally disabled, otherwise than from misconduct.
(b) those who, having served as soldiers and being still of military age, have been discharged under the conditions set forth at (i) and (ii) in (a).
(c) those who, having served as officers and, being now over military age, have retired, resigned or relinquished their commissions.
(d) those who, having served as soldiers and, being now over military age, have been discharged other than for misconduct.
(e) civilians who have served with the Royal Army Medical Corps under a fixed agreement for a period of service, or who have been employed with the army overseas (provided such employment received official sanction) who have resigned their military employment on account of wounds or sickness and who, if of military age, have received a final discharge under sub-section (5) of Section 1 of the said Act.
(f) Nurses and members of Voluntary Aid Detachments who have been discharged on account of old age, wounds or sickness, such as would render them permanently unfit for further service.
Paragraph 3 defined what “served overseas” meant, and Paragraph 4 stated that “military age” was that defined in the Military Service Acts.
In other words, the first entry in the roll shown above relates to paragraph 2.b.i: a soldier who had served overseas and been discharged on account of disablement or ill-health caused otherwise than by misconduct.
A line later in the roll showing paragraph 2.b.d is not so straightforward to understand but appears to relate to the discharge of a man, now over military age, who had been discharged on account of disablement or ill-health caused otherwise than by misconduct.