With 2014 marking 100 years since the start of the First World War military historian Paul Nixon looks at the contribution made by the one million men who volunteered for service as part of the Pal Battalions
The Pals Battalions were a pioneering idea during World War 1. Kitchener’s belief that man power was the key to winning the war meant that men from across the nation were encouraged to volunteer by promising them that they’d be able to serve alongside people they knew.
This led to the formation of the Pals, groups of men from the same streets, work places or employers, who enlisted to serve together.
Over 150,000 British men served as original members of Pals or Pals-type battalions and sadly many of them never returned home, leaving communities, families and businesses decimated.
Watch our video where Paul Nixon, military historian, findmypast, reveals stories about these men and explains how people can find out whether their ancestors were a part of the battalions. This is thanks to findmypast.co.uk which is releasing the largest collection of records of Pals Battalions online, helping families piece together the stories and sacrifices of the Kitchener volunteers. The Pals records form part of findmypast’s 100 in 100 promise to launch 100 record sets in 100 days.