Contrast, Contradiction and Change Britain 1906-1918 link to Learning Curve home page
Civilians & War 1914-18 : Recruit & Conscript
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Recruit & Conscript *
Case study*Recruit & Conscript
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When war broke out in 1914 Britain had a relatively small army. The government immediately called for volunteers and hundreds of thousands joined up. By late 1915, however, more troops were needed. In January 1916 the government introduced compulsory military service (conscription) for single men. It was then extended to married men in April.
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In this case study you will be looking at why the government introduced conscription and how people reacted to this measure.
 
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* Sources *
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1. Recruitment posters, 1914

* 2. Lord Kitchener's inspection of troops, 1914
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Source 1

* Source 2
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3. Report of a Cabinet meeting, 1915

* 4. Letter from No Conscription Fellowship, 1915
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Source 3

* Source 4
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5. Report on recruiting, October 1915

* 6. Report on problems with recruiting, 1915
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Source 5

* Source 6
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7. Memo on treatment of conscientious objectors

* 8. Cartoon on conscription, 1916
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Source 7

* Source 8
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9. Report on conscripting married men, 1916

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Source 9

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How to use the sources in this case study   *
You can use the sources in this case study in two ways:
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* The Big Question *
* The sources in this case study can help you by providing information you can use in your presentation. *
* Study each source carefully. Note down anything that tells you about: *
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* The strengths and weaknesses of voluntary recruiting *
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* Why the government was concerned about troop numbers by late 1915 *
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* Why conscription was introduced *
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* How conscription worked *
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* The reasons why people opposed conscription *
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* How opponents of conscription were treated. *
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Big question *
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* Exam practice *
* If you want to get some practice on examination type questions, just click on the Practice Questions button

Don't forget - if there are words or phrases in the sources which you cannot understand, try the glossary.
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Practice questions

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