This film is part of Free

Labour's Recruiting Appeal

Stirring scenes in Trafalgar Square as Labour MP Will Thorne rallies recruits for the war effort.

Non-Fiction 1915 1 mins


These stirring scenes from November 1915 show Labour MP Will Thorne addressing a rapt crowd in a tightly-packed Trafalgar Square. Thorne's impassioned performance was in support of Lord Derby's appeal - a rally-cry for enlistment issued by the Director General of Recruiting a few weeks before. The patriotic display of brass and banner-wielding goes went down well with Topical Budget's camera.

Will Thorne was a trade unionist and activist who supported military conscription during WW!, I, despite the opposition of his local Labour Party. This film was shot shortly after the launch of the Derby Sscheme: a half-way house to conscription which aimed to bolster recruitment through 'voluntary-compulsion'. Full conscription was finally introduced in January the following year.