In the early days of the First World War, Lord Kitchener made his famous
appeal for volunteers to join the New Army. Men flocked to recruiting offices
to enlist, and on some days tens of thousands of potential soldiers responded
to his call. Men had to be at least eighteen years old to join up, and nineteen
to serve overseas, but in the flurry of activity many younger boys came to
enlist: some were only thirteen or fourteen.
Many were turned away, but a lot were illegally signed up, and at least
250,000 underage boys found themselves fighting for King and Country in the
First World War.
In this groundbreaking new book, John Oaks delves into the complex history of
Britain's youngest Great War recruits. Focusing on a school cricket team, all
eleven of whom volunteered. He reveals why boys joined up, what their experiences
were and how they survived to endure a lifetime of memories.
For many of those who didn't, an unknown grave awaited. In some cases, their
mothers never knew what became of their children.
1. The Sacrificial Schoolboy
2. Why They Chose to Fight
3. One Hell of a Lesson
4. Recruiting Fever
5. Training for Armageddon
6. School for Sacrifice
7. Outstanding Debts of Courage
8. A Land Unfit for Heroes
Appendix: A Time Time of the Main British Engagements on the Western Front