Soldiers doing household chores, 1914-1918.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Postcard, captioned; 'With the Territorials. We have found a decent billet here.' Three soldiers are cooking, ironing and feeding a baby while a housewife and her son, who holds a British flag, look on. The Territorial force was formed in 1907 in response to European countries developing the concept of a 'nation under arms'. It was envisaged that volunteers who joined the force would contribute to home defence. At the outset of the First World War the British Army was an entirely profesional volunteer force. The casualties suffered by the British Expeditionary Force in 1914 led to the Territorials being deployed to replace the loses. Ultimately it became necesary to call for even more volunteers, with some 2.6 million men answering the call.