Kitchener's Army, also called The New Army, was military force of the British Army made up of volunteers, formed in the United Kingdom from mid-August 1914 onward. After Britain's declaration of war on Germany on 4 August 1914, there was a sudden need to increase the numbers in the British army, which at that time consisted of Regular and Territorial Forces. On the 6 August Horatio Kitchener's plan to swell the ranks of the regular army with volunteers was approved by Parliament to an of increase of 500,000 men.
Kitchener firmly believed the war would not be over by Christmas, as popularised in the press, and that it would be a long, brutal and costly affair. His predictions, much to the chagrin of those who thought otherwise, turned out to be correct. He wanted this extension of the army to be based on the Regulars, not Territorials, which he had opposed the creation of in 1908, mainly due to his suspicions of the less than desirable performance of the French Territorials and that many Territorials in Britain had joined only for 'Home Service'. The expansion of the Regular Army would comprise of wartime volunteers, with each man signing up for no less than three year's service or the duration of the war, whichever the longest option. The success of the call to arms brought about the creation of several of Kitchener's New Armies, of which are listed below.
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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