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The Great War
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Timeline Maps & Battles The Shaping of the 21st Century Historians
Historians OverviewPeter Simkins

Great Britain's Volunteer Army
Peter Simkins
"One of the figures in Britain that did anticipate a long war was Field Marshall Lord Kitchener.

"He was appointed, slightly against his will, Secretary of State for War at the outbreak of war. Kitchener tapped into this mixture of local civic pride, national patriotism, a sense of belonging to a community. Once Kitchener tapped into this in end of August, beginning of September 1914, the British Army suddenly expanded almost overnight.

"Now, the key to this was local effort, local civic pride and the symbol of this in 1914, was the idea of the Pals battalion. Around about the 26th-27th of August, it was announced in Liverpool that Lord Derby was going to try and raise a battalion of Pals. By this he meant that he thought the battalion could be raised of local lads who might be willing to join the army more readily if they knew they were going to serve and eventually fight alongside their friends.

"This idea caught on in Liverpool and within a week or so, Liverpool had 4 Pals Battalions. Within a period of about three weeks, the great industrial cities and towns of the North of England were all raising units on a local level. By the end of 1914, there were well over a hundred of these Pals battalions from all sorts of places."

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