Soldiers marching through Birmingham train station, 1914.

Throughout July 1914 the British Army prepared for mobilisation as the crisis caused by the assassination of Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and Europe’s intricate alliance system deepened. Leave was cancelled, Reservists were called up and units placed on alert. The soldiers in this photograph wear bandolier equipment and carry obsolete rifles, so are probably Yeomanry or Territorials. Territorials were not obliged to serve overseas, but when asked in August 1914, the vast majority agreed to do so. One of 193 British and Allied Official photographs taken on the Western Front during World War One.Mounted on card, some with their original captions. Associated with World War One, Western Front (1914-1918).