Latest post: When they ran out of khaki: improvised uniforms and Kitchener Blue by Jane Tynan

As Britain prepared for war, photographs of men queuing up at recruiting depots captured the drama of mobilization. Less apparent were the problems; in truth the army came under extreme pressure to recruit, train, clothe and equip masses of inexperienced men, often struggling to offer them a smooth transition into the army. Particularly symbolic was the failure to supply military uniforms. Shortages undermined the optimism of propaganda posters, particularly the images of men in khaki that drove many to recruiting stations in the first place. In retrospect, problems with uniform supply were inevitable in 1914, given Kitchener's decision to raise 100,000 regulars from volunteers;... read more