G.W.S recruitment information

Smart New Recruits

Are you interested in the Great War of 1914 - 1918? Perhaps you have a relative who served. Would you like to take your interest to the next level, and a step further than just reading books, collecting Great War artifacts, or looking at them in a museum?

The Great War Society - the world's premier Great War living-history group - is always looking for smart new recruits who meet our challenging standards, and who are committed to recreating the soldiers of the period with the essential degree of authenticity and respect.

Many of our members are serving or former members of the armed / uniformed services. Still, military experience, whilst helpful, is not essential for membership of the Society - remember that large parts of the British Army during the Great War were made up of volunteers and conscripted men, who had never seen military service. Nonetheless, trained up to the required standard, they formed the "citizen army" which played a defining part in the victory of Great Britain and her allies!!  

Learn more about The Great War

You will learn more about the Great War soldier in five minutes by wearing his uniform, and using his arms and equipment, than you would in months of staring at those same items in a museum, or in photographs.

Wear the Uniform

You must be willing to correctly wear the authentic uniform and equipment of the Great War soldier, and to learn how to demonstrate the kit in an historically accurate, professional and military manner at our events.

Membership of the Society is open to those of a minimum age of 17 years, who have a physical appearance and bearing which, in period uniform, satisfies our standards to accurately portray a soldier of the 1914 - 1918 period. Whilst in uniform, you must also be prepared to accept a level of military discipline commensurate with the period and especially so whilst in the public eye. 

Our ideal age range for recruits is 17 - 45 years, and with a good standard of physical fitness, as some of our activities can be physically demanding. Our authenticity standards extend beyond the accuracy of our kit and it is expected that your general appearance, haircut and height / weight ratio is in keeping with a soldier of the era.  

Regimental Units

The Great War Society is made up of several units, of a minimum eight man strength (to mirror a British Army section). Each unit has its own rank structure which properly recreates the formations of the time. Our units annually elect their own N.C.O’s, as well as a Unit Co-ordinator.

The Unit Co-ordinators plus an annually-elected Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, form the GWS Committee which administers the Society on a day-to-day basis. A Society AGM is held each year at a convenient event, to elect Committee members and discuss matters which concern the whole Society, and to help plan our event schedule. 

Society Events

Society events take place throughout the year, with our public event programme usually running between the months of March and October. Several training events are also held during the course of the year, which serve to instruct recruits, refresh existing knowledge and teach new skills.

A number of smaller-scale events undertaken on a unit basis, are also arranged to take place between our larger-scale national events.

A uniformed event on the Western Front (France and Belgium) will usually take place on an annual basis, generally to commemorate a particular battle, or action, on the relevant anniversary date(s). These events are often used to raise money for services charities.

As noted elsewhere, we are occasionally involved in film and TV work, for period drama productions, documentaries, educational films and TV advertisements.

Full Training

Full training is given in how to wear the uniform and equipment, foot drill, arms drill, and field work, both at dedicated training events and at public event venues.

To ensure absolute authenticity, we have a List of Approved Suppliers for all of the uniform and kit which we use, wear or carry. Full assistance is given to new members, to help and guide them, so that they get equipped with all the correct uniform, arms and equipment.

More Information

If you want more information about what we do, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us using the details and e-mail facilities in the Contact section of our website.

Interested in joining the Great War Society?

If you are interested in joining the Great War Society as a uniformed living-historian, please download and complete the Membership Application Form, and post it - along with the relevant annual membership fee - to the GWS Treasurer.

Our current membership subscription fees (renewable annually on 4th August), are:

Cheques should be made payable to "The Great War Society".


Download the GWS Application Form

Your completed Membership Application Form and your cheque should be sent to:

GWS Treasurer,
1, Westhill Cottage,
Main Road, 
Ningwood,
Isle of Wight,
PO30 4NW.