As the police were not a reserved occupation during the First World War - a reserved occupation being one where the men were needed at home for the war effort, such as train and tram drivers, coal miners and shipyard workers - they were recruited into the army in very large numbers throughout the war. Indeed, in desperation following conscription in 1916, the police forces were 'combed out' to ensure the maximum numbers were released to fight. As married as well as single men were called up and the age range at which men could be called up increased in early 1918, more and more policemen were 'called to the Colours'.
Many deaths of policemen were recorded in their journals, including at Passchendaele, to the sadness of their colleagues who had remained at home; those who remained behind were either deemed to be unfit or too old to be called up. Many police forces around Britian have honoured their war dead in touching tributes to them, as some of the Twitter feeds show.