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The First World War in numbers

One hundred years since the end of the Great War, records kept by the War Office show the huge logistical effort involved in the conflict.

British troops on the march in France during the First World War (PA)
British troops on the march in France during the First World War (PA)

More than 136 million pairs of socks were supplied to troops during the First World War, according to monthly records kept by the War Office from 1914 to 1920.

Details were kept on every aspect of warfare, including ammunition, food supplies and equipment for millions of soldiers.

To commemorate the centenary of the end of the war, here are some of the standout numbers.

5.33 million: estimated strength of the Empire forces in November 1918. Of this number, more than 1.6 million of the troops were stationed at home in Great Britain.

A group of soldiers in action during the First World War (PA)

908,000: total number of British and British Empire armed forces deaths in the Great War.

619: number of British civilians killed in air raids from December 23 1914 to July 20 1918. This included 142 children, and a further 1,650 people were injured.

£7.45 million: average daily expenditure of the war in the period April 1 1917 to May 5 the same year.

5.25 million: tons of ammunition shipped to France from August 9 1914 to November 10 1918.

British soldiers under cover in France (PA)

1.25lb: daily ration of bread issued to troops in France at the beginning of the war, along with 4oz of bacon, 3oz of cheese and 3oz of sugar. By the beginning of 1918, the daily bread ration had been reduced to 1lb, with cheese down to 2oz.

3,000: death sentences passed on British and Empire troops and other camp followers from the start of the war to the end of March 1919, for offences such as desertion and mutiny. Of that number, 346 death sentences were carried out – 266 of them for desertion.

British artillerymen in action during the opening of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 (PA)

578: Victoria Crosses awarded to British forces in the period between August 1914 and May 1920. This is the highest military decoration for bravery “in the face of the enemy”.

Figures taken from the March 1922 War Office publication Statistics Of The Military Effort Of The British Empire During The Great War



From Belfast Telegraph