As soon as war broke out, men rushed to join the military and fight.
Along with friends, relatives and workmates, thousands of Doncaster men joined local regiments such as the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Many men from the area also joined locally-raised field companies of the Royal Engineers, but men from Doncaster served in all branches of the forces including the Royal Flying Corps (later the Royal Air Force) and the Navy.
Joining up in Thorne
Over the course of the war, it is estimated that 800 men out of a population of 5000 (approximately one in every three men) had joined one branch or another of H.M. Forces. The keelmen of the River Don contributed by reinforcing the crews of minesweepers, a fact often not reported. Within three days of war being declared, a recruiting meeting was organised by Mr G H Dunston and Reverend Hankin Hardy, the local Methodist Minister and a former army chaplain. About 60 men volunteered at this meeting and went to Doncaster to join the forces.
Researched and written by Rosemary Brookes, Thorne in the Great War