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from volunteering to conscription


Lord Kitchener,Secretary of State forWar,

recognised that the war would be long and

bloody, and that the strength of theArmy must

be increased as a matter of urgency. His call for

volunteers was first made on 11August 1914,

within days of war being declared.Later that

month the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee

was established.

The response to the recruitment drive was phenomenal. By Christmas 1914,

one million men had answered the call to the ranks of Kitchener’s‘new’Army.

Kitchener himself was to become a figurehead for the recruitment campaign,

his face a prominent feature in what is arguably one of the most iconic images

of the war and of any advertising campaign since. As MargotAsquith is quoted

to have said, ‘If Kitchener was not a great man,he was,at least,a great poster’.

The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee (PRC) was an all-party body formed

towards the end ofAugust 1914. Key members included the Prime Minister and

leaders of the main political parties. The PRC produced pamphlets,organised mass

recruitment drives and produced eye-catching posters to encourage men to enlist.

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