Following a visit and a report on Australia's defence readiness by Field Marshal Kitchener, the Australian Labor Party government instituted a system of compulsory military training for all males aged between 12 and 26 from 1 January 1911."In 1911 there were approximately 350,000 boys of an age (10–17 years) to register for compulsory training up to the end of 1915.
Since 'universal' was a misnomer, about half that number were exempted from training, or perhaps never registered, reducing the group to 175,000." There was also extensive opposition to boyhood conscription resulting in, by July 1915, some 34,000 prosecutions and 7,000 detentions of trainees, parents, employers or other persons required to register.
Many people thought positively of conscription as a sign of loyalty to Britain and thought that it would also support those men who were already fighting.
However, trade unions feared that their members might be replaced by cheaper foreign or female labour and opposed conscription.
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