Richmond WW1 Diary 5 May 1915

Soldiers camping in Richmond Park

The regular British army at the start of the war was just 250,000 men. There were a further 450,000 trained reserves, including retired soldiers and members of the Territorial Force who were called up as soon as the war started. The British soldiers were quickly joined by men from the Indian Army, some 250,000 of them, but the total force was still significantly smaller than the armies of other European powers, such as France (1,650,000 men) and Germany (1,850,000).

In the first two months of the war, 750,000 British men volunteered, and thousands more joined them in the following months. The first volunteers who signed up in Richmond were recruited on the steps of the Old Town Hall (now home to the Museum of Richmond). These men formed the New Armies but needed to be trained and equipped before they would be able to fight.

We have not been able to decipher which paper this clipping was taken from but it is dated 5 May 1915. It shows ‘New Army’ men from the 3rd Battalion Signallers arriving to camp in Richmond Park before being shipped overseas.

Soldiers in kilts marching towards tents in the park

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