Kitchener's Lost Boys : From the Playing Fields to the Killing Fields Hardback
by John Oakes
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 conscripted, and as many as 250,000 underage boys found themselves fighting for King and Country in the First World War.
Over half would never return home. In this groundbreaking new book, John Oakes - whose own father-in-law walked out of the Welsh valleys to join the Royal Navy at the age of fourteen - delves into the complex history of Britain's youngest Great War recruits.
Focusing on the recruitment crisis of 1914, he reveals why boys joined up, what their experiences were and how they survived to endure a lifetime of memories.
For those who didn't, an unknown grave awaited, and in some cases their mothers never knew what had become of their children.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 192 pages
- Publisher: The History Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/06/2009
- Category: General & world history
- ISBN: 9780752449302