South Lincolnshire was not volunteering enough men for the war effort, a recruiting meeting at the reading room in Fleet heard.
The rector, the Rev J H A Law, who chaired the meeting, said the population of Fleet was 967 and yet there were only three recruits from the village.
He went on to say the statistics showed that south Lincolnshire as a whole was “worse in the way of volunteering to serve the country than any other part of England”.
Men told him if they were to volunteer it would mean there would be no one to work and get in the food supplies for the army and for the nation.
A Mr Hitchen suggested that farmers had to make sacrifices too, and would have to work longer hours and lend available men to one another.
He said: “It is up to every section of the community to bear their share of hardships.”
While recognising it would cause hardships, he said: “It is better to make the sacrifices now than have the Germans come here.”
He said while there was a shortage of labour, it would not always be so.
He said: “If Kitchener said, ‘I want men, and more men’ they are wanted, and badly wanted.”
He felt there were men who could be spared from this part of the country, but added: “I cannot promise any man who joins he can go abroad, because it is most unlikely.
“They could join and thus release a trained man so that he could go to the front.”
He admitted England was up against “a brave people” and said it was no use underrating them.
He continued: “If we were to win we could do it only by putting up millions against millions.”