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Why Did British Men Enlist in the British Army in 1914?

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Why Did British Men Enlist in the British Army in 1914? British men enlisted in the army in 1914 for a number of reasons. These reasons varied from Patriotism to enlisting in order to prevent intimidation from groups such as the white feather group. Many men actually believed it was their duty as citizens of this country to go and fight. A lot of them wanted to destroy the Germans as British propaganda had painted ruthless pictures of them in their minds. Robert Graves wrote, "... In the second place; I was outraged to read of the Germans' cynical violation of Belgian neutrality." However, not all men fought out of principle and so called responsibility. The low pay of the army encouraged unemployed men to sign up. For many unemployed men, the money influenced many to enlist. Most people in Britain believed the war would be over by Christmas and after joining the army, thought they would be able to rejoin their families in time for the festive cheer. ...read more.


Propaganda was a way to persuade men to sign up such as: (Daddy what did YOU do in the Great War?) Simple posters such as these aimed at men made scores of men sign up. These propaganda posters and articles did not unfortunately always tell the truth, and made the enemies seem a lot worse than they actually were. Various British wanted to defeat the Germans because of the awful articles they had read, such as the one about German soldiers raping many women. A War Propaganda Bureau was also set up. This was an organisation set up by the government, which consisted of many top writers such as H G Wells. They were told to write horrible pamphlets about the Germans. For example, they wrote how the Germans had tortured Belgian civilians. This painted the picture in people's minds, and it made them determined to fight. Many people started to believe that German soldiers had raped many women in broad daylight because of this. ...read more.


Suffragettes even stopped campaigning in order to help out with the war effort and persuading men to enlist. Men back at home continued to join the army day by day. They might not have done so if they had had the full story from the front. In 1914, the Defence of the Realm Act was passed. (D.O.R.A) This censored articles criticising the war effort, only selected writers were allowed to write newspaper articles on the war and letters sent home from soldiers on the Front were censored. Letters from soldiers were not allowed to contain any of the devastating stories, which really took place. Therefore, men back home did not know of any terrible stories of the war, but nicely written articles persuading them to enlist. When the British government started to become desperate criminals caught were given the option to go to prison or to join the army. Many unfortunately decided to join the army. No man however enlisted in the British army for just one of the reasons above. It was a combination of the reasons above. The call for volunteers was answered, and by the end of 1915 nearly 2.5 million men had enlisted. ...read more.

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