Labour Corps

The Army needed unskilled labourers for every conceivable kind of work: the greatest number being for railways, roads, handling ammunition, docks, supply and storage depots, forestry, quarries, hutting, trench building and grave digging.Before the creation of the Labour Corps these needs were met in various ways, none of them very effective or satisfactory.

Formed in January 1917, the Labour Corps grew to some 389,900 men (more than 10% of the total size of the Army) by the Armistice. Of this total, around 175,000 were working in the United Kingdom and the rest in the theatres of war. The Corps was manned by officers and other ranks who had been medically rated below the "A1" condition needed for front line service. Many were returned wounded.

Names of men with Lewisham connections who served in the Labour Corps and who are remembered on Lewisham War Memorials:

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