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Volunteers in the Great War

November brings Remembrance Day and our prayers for the Fallen, for their families and their friends. But the memories of the majority now stretch back not even so far as the Second World War of 1939-45, leaving thoughts only of those who fell in such smaller conflicts as Korea and Viet Nam, forgetting those who have borne their grief for over half a century, and not recognising at all that we still have among us some of the millions who were bereaved in the First World War of 1914-18, The Great War.

The Great War was unusual in being so much a volunteers’ war. To fight “for King and Country” they sailed from Australia and New Zealand, from Canada and Africa, from India and the Far East and the Caribbean. There were five million of them. And another half million crossed to England from Ireland, and from all over England, Scotland and Wales volunteers flocked to the colours ~ young men, middle-aged men, and schoolboys.

This November Ann Lyon’s thoughts focussed on these volunteers, two typical ones being her grandfathers of whom she writes here. Her memoir is in the form of a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. Readers will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader (v. 4.0 or later), and this may be obtained free from

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The Volunteers
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