Welsh Army

A Welsh Army Corps is created.

After Lloyd George gave his speech on 19 September 1914, he set to work on persuading the army to accept a Welsh unit, and on persuading his fellow-Welshmen to support the idea and organize recruits. Within a few weeks permission for the ‘Welsh Army Corps’ had been obtained, and a committee of influential Welshmen was hard at work with the arrangements. The initiative was enthusiastically supported by a range of politicians, most Welsh newspapers and even by the churches and chapels of Wales.

Lloyd George was eager to promote Wales’ contribution to the war and saw the establishment of the Welsh Army Corps as an opportunity to do this. The beginning of the 20th century also saw the growth of nationalism with Wales creating a strong identity for itself with the establishment of the University of Wales, the National Library and National Museum.

The establishment of the corps was also seen as a great opportunity to stimulate and promote the Welsh textiles industry especially with the intended production of an uniform for the corps using the Welsh ‘brethyn llwyd’. Tenders were invited from various businesses across Wales, for example from well established companies such as the Cambrian Woollen Mills in mid Wales, the Woollen Mills in Drefach Felindre, Llandysul, Jotham & Sons, Cardiff to smaller scale family run businesses such as H.Morris Jones, Penygroes, north Wales.

By February 1915 the Welsh Corps had 20,000 men and was renamed the 38th (Welsh) Division.

External Resources

Pamphlets encouraging Welsh men to join the new Welsh Army.
Records of the Welsh Army Corps showing their orders for uniforms and supplies.

A Welsh language recruitment poster calling for every man to enlist. (This resource is free of copyright restrictions and is published under the Public Domain Mark 1.0.)