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Symbol of red poppy, white marker and rifle For Armistice Day 2004 - August 1914

 

4 August 1914 saw the outbreak of the war that the British public was led to believe 'would be over by Christmas'. In the patriotic and propaganda-led fervour of its early stages, young men looking for excitement and adventure became sucked into a whirlpool from which there was little chance of escape.

Posters, newspaper advertisements and other propaganda did much to stir the conscience of those who had failed to sign-up immediately:

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The Call
 
Who's for the trench -
Are you, my laddie?
Who'll follow French -
Will you, my laddie?
Who's fretting to begin,
Who's going out to win?
And who wants to save his skin -
Do you, my laddie?
 
Who's for the khaki suit -
Are you, my laddie?
Who longs to charge and shoot -
Do you my laddie?
Who's keen on getting fit,
Who means to show his grit,
And who'd rather wait a bit -
Would you, my laddie?
 
Who'll earn the Empire's thanks -
Will you, my laddie?
Who'll swell the victor's ranks -
Will you, my laddie?
When that procession comes,
Banners and rolling drums -
Who'll stand and bite his thumbs -
Will you, my laddie?

Jessie Pope

 

.........

...Now your country calls you
To play your part in war
And no matter what befalls you
We shall love you all the more.
 
So come and join the forces
As your fathers did before.
Oh we don't want to lose you
But we think you ought to go
For your king and your country
Both need you so.
 
We shall want you and miss you
With all our might and main
We shall cheer you
Thank you, kiss you
When you come back again.

 

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Executions - 1914

Private Thomas Highgate - Royal West Kent Regiment - desertion - 8 September 1914

Private George Ward - Royal Berkshire Regiment - cowardice - 26 September 1914

Private Edward Tanner - Wiltshire Regiment - desertion - 27 October 1914

Private Archibald Browne - Essex Regiment - desertion - 19 December 1914

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