Home Archive Search Result A "Derby" Night! the Great Rush of Recruits Which Kept Recruiting Offices Open until past Midnight

A "Derby" Night! the Great Rush of Recruits Which Kept Recruiting Offices Open until past Midnight

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It was an enemy philosopher, referring to our countrymen, who said: “Is it their derivation, or their soil, or their free constitution, or national education, who can tell? but it is a fact that there is in them nothing turned and twisted, and no half measures.” If we needed confirmation of this, we might find it in the remarkable response to Lord Derby’s “Group ” recruiting scheme for the Army. From the first, the appeal was answered without hesitation, but the effort was so determined, and the field of such vast dimensions, that it was physically impossible to cover the ground within the time-limit at first assigned, especially in view of the great day-and-night rush of the last few days. Recruiting officers worked day and night, but could not cope with thousands of men eager to attest. For that reason it became necessary for the Press Bureau to issue, on Saturday, December 1, a special conmunique:

“During the past week every possible effort has been made to cope with the numbers of eligible men presenting themselves for attestation. Scores of extra recruiting offices have been opened throughout the country. Many recruiting officers have been drafted to assist. Hundreds of workers have been engages for the clerical work, which has been reduced to the miniunu to save time. Recruiting officers have a been instructed to make a list of men who apply for attestation under the Group System to-day or to-morrow (Sunday), but whom it is found impossible to attest before midnight to-morrow, December 12.” Our illustration of a “Derby” night in London shows the wisdom of prolonging the recruiting time, and also the determination to have no ” half measures ” shown by the crowds of men of all ages and conditions of life eager to play their part in the Great War.


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Issue 4000. - Vol CXLVII

Dec, 18 1915

Illustrated London News