2.5 Boy soldiers

Some young boys wanted to go to war. Recruits had to be between 18 and 30 years old, at least 1.6m tall, and have a chest measurement of no less than 863mm, yet these requirements were not stuck to rigidly, and some boys as young as 13 were able to join up. The films on this page show snapshots of these boy soldiers.

0 MINS 56 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1915

Young volunteers queue up at a recruiting office, filing in one by one to join 'Kitchener's Army'. This footage dates from around 1915. Some of these volunteers are below the age of 18.


0 MINS 48 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918

Soldiers in training at a camp in Aldershot, Hampshire, during the First World War. We see young new recruits, many of them teenagers, not yet in uniform, washing dishes and eating.

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