Pals Battalions

Topic 7: Pals Battalions

In 1914, the ongoing power struggle in the Balkans escalated into a major political crisis in Europe, and ultimately in war.

Britain declared war on Germany on the 4th August 1914, with the Expeditionary Force leaving for France on the 9th. At the same time the Territorial Force began forming volunteer battalions for overseas service, and Lord Kitchener, the new Secretary of State for War, began recruiting the New Army. The New Army was formed primarily around soldiers recruited from a particular locality, the so-called Pals Battalions.

Recruits to the Pals Battalion, the Grimsby Chums, during rifle training in 1914. (Photo: