Reaction to the outbreak of war

When the war began there was mass enthusiasm for it all over Europe as hundreds of thousands of men rushed to join up, confident that they would be home for Christmas.

Highland troops in kilts pack their kits in World War One

In Britain, 900,000 volunteered in the first three months, in Glasgow 500,000 enlisted in August alone. They included school boys who lied about their age so that they would not miss out.

Scottish army volunteers

Young Scots volunteered for the army for many reasons such as peer pressure, feelings of guilt and a desire for adventure. Some joined as they would earn more money and believed that it would be better than life at home!

Most believed that if they did not join up quickly they would miss an adventure with their mates. However, it was soon clear that the war would not be 'over by Christmas'.