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Your country needs you

Parliament has for centuries been involved in making sure the state has enough men and women to serve in the armed forces both at home and abroad.

The two world wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45 meant raising armies and defence forces of unprecedented size, as well as mobilising the entire population for a people's war. These demands profoundly affected everyone's lives.


Read more about Parliament's role in raising recruits for the fighting forces and organising the civilian war effort

Key dates

See at a glance the different measures approved by Parliament on the armed forces and the defence of the nation


Find out how Parliament has called on people to defend the nation and take part in in military operations

Parliament and the First World War