Sunday 25 February 2018

Sunday WW1 Remembered...

Ordinary Lives of The First World War

After the outbreak of war in August 1914, a huge civilian army was needed, and in the first 8 weeks over 750,000 men had signed up.


The Photograph show recruits at the Whitehall Recruiting Office, London. 

Britain's declaration of war on Germany on 4 August 1914 was greeted for the most part with popular enthusiasm, and resulted in a rush of men to enlist.

 © IWM (Q 42033)

As an army officer reads out the oath, four young men hold Bibles and confirm their allegiance at a recruitment office. 

Photograph taken at Treaty Lodge, Hounslow, the HQ of the 8th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, in September 1917.

© IWM (Q 30071)
Nicholls, Horace (Photographer) 

Oath of Attestation

I ____________swear by Almighty God, that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George the Fifth, his Heirs and Successors, and that I will as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully defend His Majesty, his Heirs and Successors in Person, Crown and dignity against all enemies, and will observe and obey all orders of His Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, and of the General and Officers set over me. So help me God.

Certificate of Magistrate of Attesting Officer

The Recruit above me named was cautioned by me that if he made any false answers to the above questions  he would be liable to be punished as provided in the Army Act.

The above questions were then read to the recruit in my presence.

I have taken care that he understands each questions and that his answer to each question has been duly entered as replied to  , and the said recruit has made and signed the declaration and taken the oath before me.

at___________on this ________day of _______191

The army couldn't accept every volunteer and and all recruits had to pass a series of medical examinations. All new soldiers had to meet age restrictions, nationality criteria, and pass a medical examination. This was designed to reject those with health conditions and a physique deemed unfit for the rigours of a soldier's life and role. However, in the chaos of early 1914, a blind eye was often turned to official standards. Examinations could be brief and hasty, allowing many underage or unfit men to slip through into the Army.

Source : Imperial War Museum



  1. Well! What has surprised me here is that the Certificate of Magistrate of Attesting Officer is in such plain English, easy to read and understand.... because surely, these days, official documents (say for insurance purposes) seem to run to many more words and pages. And the Plain English Society was not in existence in 1914, I think! Thanks Josie, that is fascinating.

    1. Simplicity was key, I think , Susan. It's all fascinating stuff !


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