The son of a farming family, 17-year-old Johannes Tude, who was entered into the list of individuals with a military service obligation, filed a request on 13 April 1916 with the Narva boys’ gymnasium to sit for a voluntary examination. The examination report shows that the questions were on six subject areas: history, religion, arithmetic, geometry, geography and Russian. While he performed satisfactorily on other subjects, Johannes failed the oral Russian part of the exam. Johannes tried again a month later and scraped by in Russian, but that time the examination committee ruled that his mathematics knowledge was non-satisfactory. Thus he did not pass the examination and he was likely called up for service as a draftee.