The outbreak of war in August 1914 until the end of 1915 was a time of great change for the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (K.O.Y.L.I.) and the army in general. The British government quickly realised that the country’s existing professional army would be no match for the huge German forces invading France and Belgium.
The recruitment of new volunteer battalions transformed the army and the K.O.Y.L.I. In the four months from the outbreak of war until the end of 1914, the number of K.O.Y.L.I. battalions trebled. Men from across the West Riding of Yorkshire, from all walks of life and with no previous experience of warfare, volunteered for service.