The Citizens’ Army League – Second Pals Battalion – Recruitment slow and laborious

Having already completed the formation of the First Pals Battalion in September 1914 the Citizens’ army league realised a second Battalion would be needed. “At a meeting on December 3rd 1914, they were authorised to offer to raise, and similarly deal with, a second Infantry Battalion. The 2nd Bradford Battalion – 18th (Service) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (2nd Bradford) was sanctioned on January 22nd 1915. Enlistment commenced on February 8th.”
By this time however “the conditions of recruiting had greatly altered. The keen edge of patriotism which had manifested itself in the early days of the war had passed off. A large measure of advertising and drum beating had to be resorted to in the raising of the new Battalion.” In the middle of April 1915 a scheme was instituted of money rewards for soldiers bringing in new recruits.
The full four company Battalion was reached on April 29th 1915. The Battalion moved on to camp at Bowling Park on May 12th before moving on to join the first Pals Battalion at Ripon on the 20th May.


It cost the Citizens’ Army League more to fund the second battalion due to the increased advertising and propaganda. Both Pals Battalions were provided with their own band at the cost of the League.


The Citizen Army League was then asked by the War office to raise and administer Reserves for the Service Battalions.


Report of the work of the Bradford Citizens’ Army League in assisting recruiting for the Navy and Army for service in the European War from Sept 1914 to March 1916 (1916) Bradford