British soldiers have been known as Tommies for centuries, but the name is particularly associated with the British soldier in World War I. In 1914, a small professional force of British soldiers crossed the Channel to aid the French. It soon became apparent that the war would be protracted, and a vast drive for volunteer soldiers began. By 1918 the army was transformed, fielding 5.5 million men on the Western Front alone. These Tommies were fighting an entirely new type of war, living and dying in vast trench systems, threatened by death from the air or by gas attack as well as by rifle or bayonet. This book explores the development of the ‘Tommy’, and his experience of war.