What was it like when they joined up?

Soldiers having their uniforms fitted. © IWM (Q 30069)

Soldiers having their uniforms fitted. © IWM (Q 30069)

At the start of the First World War the regular British army was quite small.  Lord Kitchener was Secretary of State for War.  He realised that many more recruits were needed, and the national campaign was started.  But what was it like for the young men in Kitchener’s ‘New Armies’?  How did it affect the towns and villages where they lived?  What was it like for them as they trained and set off for war?  How did they manage when they went into battle?  What about when they came home again?



Here Martin Purdy, a historian living in Lancashire, describes what happened when young men from Rochdale area signed up and went to Gallipoli.

Martin talks further about the legacy of the War here.

The Imperial War Museum has a teaching resource on Recruitment and Conscription: find out more here.