George Square: Civilian Recruitment Committee

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Recruitment in early August 1914

In the first few weeks of the war Kitchener’s recruitment appeal was carried out by the military authorities. His first appeal asked for 100,000 men

Poster: Project Gutenburg Australia Click for video of recruitment
Poster: Project Gutenburg Australia Click for video of recruitment

Halifax Courier 8 August 1914. Recruitment in August was brisk and the military authorities did not have the facilities to cope with them. Despite this it was going to take much more of an effort to get the millions that Kitchener needed.
Halifax Courier 8 August 1914. Recruitment in August was brisk and the military authorities did not have the facilities to cope with them. Despite this it was going to take much more of an effort to get the millions that Kitchener needed.

Formation of the Civilian Recruitment Committee

By late August there was something of a sea change when the civilian authorities became more involved. The Halifax Civilian Recruitment Committee was set up and had its offices in the Conservative Union building located on the corner of George Street and the Black Swan Passage. The focus of recruitment now shifted from military establishments such as the Halifax Barracks and Drill Hall to a variety of other places such as the Victoria Hall. Meetings were addressed by both civilian and military speakers.

Goad's Map:Location of the Civilian Recruitment Committee - highlighted in green.
Goad’s Map:Location of the Civilian Recruitment Committee – highlighted in green.

Mass meeting called by the Mayor of Halifax, William Henry Ingham.

28 August 1914
This meeting was called by the Mayor of Halifax for 3rd September in the Victoria Hall. It coincided with Kitchener’s second appeal for 500,000 men and the disturbing news form the continent that the British Expeditionary Force was in retreat from the German Army. The result was that recruitment numbers soared. This was typical of the country as a whole and September saw the largest monthly number of voluntary recruits for the whole war.