British Recruitment WW1
This source comes from the book ‘Forgotten Voices of the Great War’ written by M. Arthur and published in 2002. The source shows the story of one man’s recruitment into the army. However the source shows how the recruitment officer, encouraged the man to lie about his age, so he was eligible to recruit for the army. This shows the eagerness of the government to recruit as many people as possible, it shows this because the recruitment officers, were not rejecting people and were pressuring under age boys into lying about their age so that they could sign up, which I was a highly illegal and immoral act.
This source was accompanied by many other sources all concerning different aspects and events that occurred in WW1. The book was entitled ‘Forgotten Voices of the Great War’, this inclines that the book’s purpose was not to portray, the illustrious Generals nor the decorated majors, but the privates. The purpose of the book was not to persuade people to think differently about the war, nor present one side as the ‘bad guys’, it was simply meant to be a platform in which the honest privates of the army could have their voices heard, their storied read, their memories shared.
The source also shows how easy it was to recruit, and how permanently available recruitment offices were. The man was phoned up by a friend and 5 minutes later he is recruiting. The source also shows how this man hadn’t fully thought about the war before he signed up. He was asked what he thought about the war, he responded saying he hadn’t thought anything about it. Straight after the phone call he recruited. This showed how men would sign up, without fully thinking of the consequences of signing up, nor the terrible conditions they would be put in. The man phoning up his friend, shows how it was not just the government eager to recruit people but also members of the public, intent on signing every available man up.
I think this is likely to be a reliable source; it is most definitely not biased due to their being no opinion presented in the source. However the interview with Reginald Heine, may have been taken place decades after the recruiting incident. Which means that Heine would have gone through severe traumas from the war, therefore his memory may have been clouded when he retold his story. Although, the moment when he recruited would hold significant importance to him due to the decision, effectively, putting his life on the line for 4 years straight. My overall opinion on the provenance of this source is that it is reliable, and very accurate, due to the minimal information that the source actually presents. The source doesn’t boast any staggering facts, nor shocking revelations. The source simply presents one man’s recruitment story, which is why I think it is reliable.
The source is useful for answering the question upon recruitment because it shows the government’s willingness to recruit as many people as possible. It also shows how the recruitment office were happy to recruit under age boys into the army. However the source only shows one man’s story. Not the amount of people recruiting why people recruited. Therefore the utility of this source should be branded as not useful on its own, to answer the question, however when this source is accompanied by similar sources to do with recruitment then the source utility increase a lot.
Source 9 is taken from the ‘Personal Memories’ of Alfred Blake. The source’s purpose, in my opinion, is to show one of the many factors which caused people to recruit. The source shows what enticed and persuaded people to sign up for the army.
The source’s provenance does not need to come into question as it is simply one mans, reason for signing up. His reasons are not unique, many people that signed up shared Blake’s desire to see the world. Due to this source being similar to other sources, I can believe that Blake is definitely...
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