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required to appear before a judge at the county court in Morden to obtain conscientious objector (C.D.) status. If all procedures were followed properly C.D. status was routinely granted and the applicant was assigned some form of alternative service. Those who failed the trial were sentenced to a few months in the Headingly jail. 10
In negotiation with the government three alternative service pos sibilities were presented to the Elders Committee: Non-combatant ser vice without arms under military supervision; hospital care, care for the wounded under military perhaps civilian jurisdiction; work in parks or road projects under civilian jurisdiction. The representatives from southern Manitoba reluctantly chose the third alternative. II Thereafter, Rhineland C.O. 's worked on road construction and repair work in Riding Mountain National Park, fire fighting and lumbering in British Columbia and Ontario, while others worked in hospitals, mental institu tions, coal mines and on farms. 12
Not all Mennonite youths chose alternative service and a signifi cant number volunteered to join the armed services. By the end of the war the Altona Echo had listed 105 enlistments from the Altona area, 82 from the Gretna area, 12 from the Halbstadt vicinity, 17 from Horndean and 70 from Plum Coulee. 13 While some of these 286 enlistments were non-Mennonite, the majority were Mennonites who had either left the Church or had joined in spite of their Church's objection. In Altona more than 50 per cent of the eligible boys from the Bergthaler Church enlisted. 14
Those Mennonites who did join the armed service did so in violation of the Church's position on non-resistance and as a result lost favour with their congregations. Both the Bergthaler and Sommerfelder Churches held that returning soldiers would only be re-admitted to the Church when they appeared before the Church Lehrdienst and con fessed they had erred. If they refused their names were to be removed from the Church register. 15 Most felt they had nothing to confess. Those Mennonites that had joined generally felt themselves to be Canadians with a duty to serve their country. While there were some hard feelings directed towards those that joined, veterans were generally welcomed back to their communities after the war. 16 It was at this time that the United Church was formed in Altona and its membership consisted largely of returned Mennonite soldiers. Clearly, the Mennonite Church was no longer the dominant influence it had once been and many of Rhineland's communities now considered themselves in the main stream of Canadian society.
Rhineland residents were certainly sensitive to criticism aimed at them for not being more patriotic. They contributed liberally to relief