At the outbreak of the First World War the British Army was a much smaller force than its German and French counterparts. More troops were needed and the call went out to enlist. Conscription was politically unpalatable, so men were encouraged to volunteer. General Sir Henry Rawlinson believed prospective soldiers were more likely to sign up if they could serve alongside those they knew, and so it proved with Lord Derby's call to arms in Liverpool. Pals Battalions were formed; friends, neighbours and workmates serving side by side. Other towns and cities followed suit, competing with one another to send the most men.
We continue to mark the centenary of the First World War with this elegant £2 coin, endorsed by Imperial War Museums and featuring an original design by the team at creative agency, Uniform. It is a lasting way to mark the camaraderie of those men and the unity and pride of the communities they volunteered to defend. Struck in 925 sterling silver and minted to our finest Proof standard, this magnificent and moving coin is a fitting addition to our series of First World War centenary coins.