This film is part of Free

Khaki Bank Holiday

The holiday crowds are in the mood to enjoy themselves at Hampstead Fair, and army recruiters seize the opportunity to encourage enlistment.

Non-Fiction 1915 1 mins


Fairground rides and army recruitment stands may seem a disconcerting combination, but there was a pressing need for more soldiers as World War I approached its second year of hostilities. Perhaps the exhilarating mood of the fair, captured by the Topical Budget newsreel cameras, also provided a spur to sign up for the daring exploits of war. Locally enlisted 'Pals brigades' were a feature of WWI.

A few days later, local newspaper the Hampstead & Highgate Express reported that "Recruiting for the 183rd (Hampstead) Howitzer Brigade proceeds apace, nearly 300 men of the total of 800 required to form the Brigade being enrolled within the first fortnight." A month later 815 men had been recruited and a new training camp was proposed on the edge of Hampstead Heath, at Golders Hill Park. Digitisation supported by the London Topographical Society.