A group of men from the 5th Royal Sussex Regiment with the recruiting committee outside Battle Abbey. They were out trying to get recruits for the 3rd and 5th Regiments in July 1915. According to the Hastings and St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser, nearly of the men had been at the Front and were home on leave. Several were wounded but due to return to duties shortly.
You might think that sending men wounded during the fighting would possibly not be the most efficient way of recruiting new men. It was still important to the armed forces to recruit men to service, as conscription was yet to be introduced. In the first year of the war over 1 million men had volunteered their services. In July 1915 it was beginning to become harder to find willing volunteers. These men were ambassadors for the army, locals who could speak in positive terms about what it is to serve. I’m sure they were successful in encouraging men to sign up. By the end of December 1915 2.4 million men had signed up, but this amount was not enough to sustain the country’s commitment to the war effort. This article provides more detail.
The two photographs used to create the image are below.
This image is part of a continuing series of Then and Now images I’ve created for East Sussex Council’s World War 1 commemoration website. The website is focussed on the contribution that the men and women of East Sussex made towards the war effort.