No. 3 Company, Public Schools Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, August 1914
Photograph, World War One, Home Front (1914-1918), 1914.
New recruits in civilian dress march along a street in Ashtead. As in the rest of Europe, the outbreak of war was greeted with popular acclaim in Britain. Around 30,000 men were enlisting every day by the end of August. By December 1915, over two million men had enlisted. Neither the Second World War nor more recent conflicts have generated anything like this degree of enthusiasm. Men enlisted for all manner of reasons, including patriotism, the desire to quit a boring job for an exciting adventure or the chance to see another country.
Collected by Fletcher Brewer, who joined the Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers as a private soldier, and was later commissioned into the Army Service Corps.
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National Army Museum, Study collection