To what extent did Scotland play an important role in the British army during the First World War?
Scotland played an important role in the British army right from the start of the war. Straight away there was a lot of support from Scotland as volunteer rates were bigger in proportion to the size of the population than in any other area of the UK. Scots were also highly involved in the battle of Loos which was one of the first main battles of the war. The next battle that involved a large amount of Scots was the battle of the Somme. Another main battle was Arras this also had a high percentage of Scots in it. Douglas Haig played an important role as he was a Scottish field Marshall and leader of the British army from 1916 onwards and was entrusted with making decision important to the outcome of the war. In 1914 the British army was entirely voluntary and only used to control the British Empire. The army was small and only numbered around 250,000 but they were highly trained in combat. The soldiers were mostly working class men and were led by middle or upper class officers. Britain also had a territorial army which by 1914 also numbered around 250,000. The Territorial Army did not serve overseas but did drills and received basic military training. Scots were involved in both the British army and the Territorial Army in 1914. After the war had started Field Marshall Lord Kitchener the new secretary of state for war declared that Britain would need a million men to defeat Germany. He started recruiting immediately and started by asking for men aged between 19 and 30 to join the army but he soon increased the upper limit to 35. Lord Kitchener used propaganda to attract volunteers including posters that used slogans like “your country needs you”. There were more Scots volunteers in proportion to the size of the population than in any other area of the UK. By the end of august 20,000 people had signed up in Glasgow, this was a fifth of all the volunteers that had...
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