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trench notes

p a l ’ s ba t t a l i ons

Lord Derby was the first to test the idea and raise a battalion

in Liverpool (solely of local men). Within days they had enough

men to form four battalions. This prompted other towns to do the

same. Civic pride and community spirit was what spurred on the


- The Hull Commercials shared an occupation

- The Glasgow Tramways an employer

- The Tyneside Irish a common background

- Glasgow Boys Brigade

- Glasgow City of Commerce

Several sportsmen’s Pals battalions were formed, including

16th (2nd Edinburgh) (Service) Battalion, Royal Scots. This

battalion contained the entire first and reserve team players,

several boardroom and staff members, and a sizeable contingent

of supporters of the Scottish professional club Heart of

Midlothian F.C.

The name Pals was usually reserved for battalions in the North,

where there was a sweeping phenomenon happening throughout the

country. By drawing recruits from among the local population,

individual towns and communities suffered disproportionate

losses. Once conscription was brought in, further pals

battalions were not needed and most were decimated by the

end of the war or incorporated into other battalions.