In November 1915 the St John’s Milford parish magazine published a transcript of King George V’s ‘call to arms’ of 23 October 1915. The author of the associated commentary described the appeal as ‘the last word in Voluntary Enlistment’ and expressed their hopes that, firstly, the response would be such that the necessity for compulsory recruiting would be obviated, and, secondly, that should compulsion be adopted, ‘it will affect none in our Parish, except such as have good reasons for holding back’.
TO MY PEOPLE.
At this grave moment in the struggle between my people and a highly organised enemy who has transgressed the Laws of Nations and changed the ordinance that binds civilised Europe together, I appeal to you.
I rejoice in my Empire’s effort, and I feel pride in the voluntary response from my Subjects all over the world who have sacrificed home, fortune, and life itself, in order that another may not inherit the free Empire which their ancestors and mine have built.
I ask you to make good these sacrifices.
The end is not in sight. More men and yet more are wanted to keep my Armies in the Field, and through them to secure Victory and Enduring Peace.
In ancient days the darkest moment has ever produced in men of our race the sternest resolve.
I ask you, men of all classes, to come forward voluntarily and take your share in the fight.
In freely responding to my appeal, you will be giving your support to our brothers, who, for long months have nobly upheld Britain’s past traditions and the glory of her arms.