On 24 February 1916 Thomas Strachan applied for total exemption, stating: “As a Christian and am convinced that all war is contrary to the Spirit and teachings of Christ as set forth in the New Testament.”
He was not granted exemption and he appealed: “As a Christian, I believe that all war is contrary to the spirit and teachings of Christ as set forth in the New Testament and that I can take no service, whether combatant or non-combatant in aiding or abetting this war or any war. These convictions I have held since 1913. At that time I was serving in the GCRVBRS and made application to the Captain of the Company of which I was a member for exemption or to have my discharge on the same grounds as which I now appeal. I received a reply asking me to reconsider the question and having do so I still maintained that as a Christian I could be no longer joined up with a body that used force and weapons of destruction to gain its achievements.”
On 14 April 1916, the appeal was dismissed, he was court-martialled and sentenced to imprisonment.