The history of England, is a long, intricateweb of invasions and rulers, wars and battles, Kings and Queens, power andwealth and through all of these things, Great Britain came to be what it istoday. Leading up to the first World War in 1914, Great Britain had enjoyed almosta century of unparalleled peace and prosperity, but prior to that, England hadits fair share of experience at war. Whether it is a win or a loss, being at warrequired an army. The British Army spans over three and a half centuries sinceits founding in 1660 and involves numerous wars. From the late 17thcentury until the mid 20th century, the United Kingdom was thegreatest economic and imperial power in the world and although this dominancewas primarily achieved through the strength of the Royal Navy, the British Armyplayed a significant role.
From 1908 the British Army had offered four forms ofrecruitment. The regular army, a part-time member of the Territorial Force, asoldier of the Special Reserve, and the opportunity to join the NationalReserve. During this time, there was a difference of opinions, with politiciansand military men taking both sides, about whether Britain should have a systemof national conscripted service. By 1914 the British Army was entirelyvoluntary.In the early stages of The Great War, the growththat the British Army faced from starting as a small professional force andexpanding to a large citizens army which was capable of defeating the world’smost daunting military machine, was a truly extraordinary achievement. As theWar grew nearer, it was obvious that the British Army needed expanding.
At the beginningof August 1914, parliament issued a call for an extra 500,000 soldiers and bythe end of September 750,000 men, of all ages, had enlisted. Although there wasskepticism about joining the British Army, there were multiple strategies that encouragedmen and got them excited about fighting for their country. “For King andCountry” men will fight, and fight they did.