Mule and muleteer recruitment
Pushed or pulled?
in Serving the empire in the Great War
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This chapter contributes to the ongoing debates (Mansfield, Osborne, Pennell and McCartney) about enlistment in the Great War. It argues that mules were procured and muleteers were enlisted by using legal methods that left mule owners and men of military age with little alternative. Before discussing muleteer recruitment, it is important to understand mule procurement because initially, as reflected in the name of the operation at Famagusta, the Mule Purchasing Commission, the focus was on purchasing mules. By July 1917, the focus had clearly switched to muleteers when the name changed to Muleteer Recruiting and Supply Purchasing Staff and greater numbers of muleteers were recruited in comparison to mules. In the case of the Cypriot Mule Corps the peasant and labouring classes were given little option but to enlist to serve in the British army, as the British were able to play on local push factors to pull in volunteers.

Serving the empire in the Great War

The Cypriot Mule corps, imperial loyalty and silenced memory


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