This film is part of Free

Married Mens' Call

The first married men to be conscripted to fight in WWI undergo training for the trenches.

Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent


Married men were spared when conscription was introduced in March 1916. But not for long: their turn came in May. Topical Budget (or the army itself?) seems to be jumping the gun with this newsreel issued on 8 April, apparently showing the first recruits. True to patriotic form, Topical saw no cause for anxiety, and it all seems a bit of an adventure for the men, who undergo physical jerks, rifle training and a machine gun demonstration.

The men even train in replica trenches, although these strikingly tidy examples - free of mud, blood, barbed wire or the constant threat of enemy shells - could hardly compare with the real thing.