Numbering over five million men, Britain's army in the First World War was the biggest in the country's history. Remarkably, nearly half those men who served in it were volunteers. 2,466,719 men enlisted between August 1914 and December 1915, many in response to the appeals of the Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener. How did Britain succeed in creating a mass army, almost from scratch, in the middle of a major war? What compelled so many men to volunteer, and what happened to them once they had taken the King's shilling?
Peter Simkins describes how Kitchener's New Armies were raised and reviews the main political, economic and social effects of the recruiting campaign. He examines the experiences and impressions of the officers and men who made up the New Armies. As well as analysing their motives for enlisting, he explores how they were fed, housed, equipped and trained before they set off for active service abroad. Drawing upon a wide variety of sources, ranging from government papers to the diaries and letters of individual soldiers, he questions long-held assumptions about the 'rush to the colours' and the nature of patriotism in 1914. The book will be of interest not only to those studying social, political and economic history, but also to general readers who wish to know more about the story of Britain's citizen soldiers in the Great War.
A excellent book.Paul Diggett
This is an excellent book produced in association with the Imperial War Museum and it is a wonderful part of the canon of historical research on the British perspective of the First World War. If you want to understand the army from that time then this is an important book that you will consistently come back to as it is an important source of information with excellent references. This is an important book for all those interested in the First World War.History of War
As seen in the Yorkshire Post.Yorkshire Post
'The result is a tour de force'Military Illustrated
Kitchener's Army is indispensable for anyone with more than a passing interest in the British army of the First World War...it is likely to remain the standard work for many years to come.Military Illustrated
The definitive account of the formation of the largest British Army in history.Soldier Magazine
Anyone who has an interest in the war, the army, the incredible expansion of military forces to face the Germans, Austrians and Turks or the units of the new armies will find much to delight them here...an excellent and essential work of reference.The Long, Long Trail
This is a detailed and authoritative account...outstanding and informative.The Great War Magazine
This is an excellent book...there could be no better written testament on how to raise an Army from scratch.The British Army Review