Volunteering And Recruitment
August 1914- How Britain reacted to the news of the war.
The First World War
Everyone thought that the war would be a short one, and that it would all be over by Christmas. Young men signed up to go to war and women volunteered to look after the soldiers on the battle field. The men were treated like heroes.
'Girls smiled, men looked at us with respect, bus drivers wished us good luck and refused to accept money.'
'He's happy & satisfied. Are you?'
'It is nice in the surf but what about the men in the trenches? Go and help'
'Daddy what did YOU do in the great war?'
180,000 people had signed up to join the army by August 1914. 640,000 had joined by September and by October, the army had over 780,000 volunteers.
Although over one million volunteers were recruited by the end of 1914, more were needed. The government passed a law saying that men between the ages of 18 and 41 had to go to war whether they wanted to or not. This was called conscription. People who refused this, were at risk of being imprisoned.