National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers

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The National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers (NFDDSS) was a British veterans organisation.

The organisation was founded in January 1917 by various London-based veterans groups opposed to the Review of Exceptions Act, which made it possible for people invalided out of the armed forces to be re-conscripted. It adopted the slogans "Every man once before any man twice" and "Justice before charity".[1]

Although the Federation initially invited senior military figures to its meetings, they refused. The leadership was assumed by the left-wing Liberal Party MPs James Hogge and William Pringle, who fought for improved pensions and representation on relevant government committees. Frederick Lister later took over the presidency. The Federation's politics were thus broadly liberal, although there was a wide diversity of opinion.[1]

In 1919, the Woolwich branch organised a march on Parliament Square, which was baton charged by police. Other branches worked closely with the trade union movement, and some set up soup kitchens.[1]

F.B. Hughes, a member of the NFDDSS, stood on behalf of the group at the Liverpool Abercromby by-election, 1917, against Edward Stanley of the Conservative Party but was unsuccessful, taking only a quarter of the votes cast.[2] This intervention persuaded the Earl of Derby to found Comrades of the Great War as a right-wing alternative veterans group.[3]

1918 general election[edit]

The NFDDSS sponsored a considerable number of candidates at the 1918 general election.[1] Only five of the candidates were officially approved by the National Executive Committee: Brookes, Dooley, Gebbett, Lister and Shakesby. The remainder were put forward by local branches; these included three candidates in Leeds who were jointly sponsored by the rival Comrades of the Great War and National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers organisations in what was termed the "Silver Badge Party". During the campaign, both Dawson and Thompson were repudiated by the organisation.[4]

Constituency Candidate Votes  % Position[4]
Aberavon Jones, T. G.T. G. Jones 324 1.5 3
Ashton-under-Lyne Lister, FrederickFrederick Lister 7,334 41.7 2
Battersea South Jenkin, John Ernest PhilipJohn Ernest Philip Jenkin 1,657 7.2 4
Bermondsey West Becker, Harry Thomas AlfredHarry Thomas Alfred Becker 1,294 12.3 4
Bethnal Green South West Thurtle, ErnestErnest Thurtle 1,941 23.9 2
Birmingham Aston Dooley, J. H.J. H. Dooley 1,561 9.8 3
Brixton Kelley, StephenStephen Kelley 3,641 22.6 2
Clapham Beamish, Henry HamiltonHenry Hamilton Beamish 4,697 22.1 2
Coventry Bannington, A. C.A. C. Bannington 3,806 9.8 4
Deptford Rumsey, F. A.F. A. Rumsey 2,106 8.1 3
Fulham West Allen, William JonesWilliam Jones Allen 995 5.3 4
Great Yarmouth Dawson, Willam H.Willam H. Dawson 125 0.9 4
Grimsby Crosby, H. J. F.H. J. F. Crosby 1,260 4.7 4
Hitchin Humm, GeorgeGeorge Humm 722 4.5 3
Islington West Taylor, Ernest MilesErnest Miles Taylor 1,105 10.0 4
Kingston-upon-Hull South West Shakesby, Albert E.Albert E. Shakesby 695 4.3 4
Leeds Central Terry, ErnestErnest Terry 2,634 16.2 2
Leeds South Brook, James A.James A. Brook 1,377 7.9 3
Leeds West Chapman, Joseph HenryJoseph Henry Chapman 1,138 5.6 3
Liverpool Everton Brooksbank, A. W.A. W. Brooksbank 5,779 47.6 2
Manchester Hulme Milner, G.G. Milner 729 3.6 4
Morpeth Newton, G. D.G. D. Newton 2,729 12.2 4
Newcastle-upon-Tyne East Thompson, JohnJohn Thompson 1,079 7.2 3
Norwood Bignold, HaroldHarold Bignold 6,665 34.2 2
Nottingham East Brookes, Joseph N. DennisJoseph N. Dennis Brookes 2,166 14.9 3
Paddington North Barry, Edward Patrick JohnEdward Patrick John Barry 3,571 20.7 3
Southwark North Gebbett, George GregoryGeorge Gregory Gebbett 573 6.3 4
Spelthorne Leonard, A. W.A. W. Leonard 1,143 7.2 3
Tottenham South Jay, Albert EdwardAlbert Edward Jay 1,295 8.3 3
Wallasey Owen, T. D.T. D. Owen 3,407 12.9 4


In 1920, the Federation invited NADSS, Comrades of the Great War and the Officers' Association to a meeting to discuss a potential merger, and this was achieved in 1921, establishing the Royal British Legion.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Barr, Niall (2005). The Lion and the Poppy: British veterans, politics, and society, 1921-1939. Praeger Publishers. pp. 12–18. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  2. ^ P.J. Waller, Democracy and Sectarianism: a political and social history of Liverpool 1868-1939, page 280. Liverpool University Press, 1981
  3. ^ Beckett, Ian Frederick William (2007). The Great War, 1914-1918. Pearson/Longman. p. 572. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1975). Minor Parties in British By-elections, 1885-1974. London: Macmillan Press. pp. 57–58.