***Kitchener’s Army The raising of the new Armies 1914-1916


Kitchener’s Army : The raising of the new Armies 1914-1916

Peter Simkins


9 September 1914 : 

Kitchener authorises the formation of two new series of divisions.


11 September 1914 :

Second New Army formally created by Army Order XII of 11 September 1914. (65) Army Order XII of 11 September 1914 (AO 382 of 1914)

In the case of the 20th (Light) Division on 11th September the huge battalions of the 14th Division were paraded at Aldershot and Company Officers were simply told to fall out half their men to form the new Battalions of the 20th Division.


Capt E C Jesser- Davis wrote:

At about 6.00pm I was drilling with ‘C’ Company of the Eight Battalion when I was sent to take command of ‘D’ Company of the Eleventh Battalion. I found three hundred and twenty men and boys in every variety of civilian attire, mostly rather shabby (although one man was in possession of a white collar) waiting in the road with their newspaper parcels under their arms, and had to get them into the very limited accommodation allotted to me – one-barrack room and two or three bell tents. (67).


By the end of September the recruiting boom was getting out of hand. p72. 

11 September 1914 : 12,527 men enlisted


The recruiting boom never again reached the high-water mark of the first week of September.


Between 4 August and 12 September 478,893 men had joined the Army, 301,971 having enlisted in the fortnight after 30 August. p75 


Recruiting flood of August and September 1914 forced Lord Kitchener to rely on an increasing extent upon civilian help in raising the New Armies. Before a month had elapsed offers of assistance from local MPs, local authorities and leading citizens, who, throughout the country, lent or hired halls to accommodate bigger recruiting offices, collected civilian doctors and clerks to deal with the thousands of volunteers, and often housed them and fed the men until they could be sent off to their training centres. p77 


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