On the outbreak of war the number of volunteers was overwhelming. Thousands of men eagerly arrived at recruitment stations, ready to fight for King and country. In that first month, around 500,000 troops enlisted in Britain alone, with hundreds of thousands more following from across the Empire. In this clip First World War veterans discuss their experiences of joining up.

This clip is from:
Bitesize Secondary, History
First broadcast:
11 January 2008

There were many reasons why men joined the British armed forces between 1914 and 1916. During this period it was voluntary but after 1916 conscription was introduced. Students could compare the experiences of soldiers who volunteered with those who were conscripted into the army. They could also study whether soldiers who volunteered during the Second World War joined up for different reasons.