In February 1915 results of a census were published in the Blackburn Times which showed the number of men who had joined up and what type of employment they followed. There were 521 textile workers, but returns had not yet been received from the largest textile union the Clayton Street Weavers Association.
The need to raise a large new army, led to a proposal in May 1915 for a scheme for national registration. This took place in October 1915 and Blackburn, in common with the rest of the country appealed for voluntary assistance in the distribution and collection of the forms and for clerical assistance to classify and tabulate them on return.
Recruitment campaigns continued throughout 1915. In October, pressure was put on those who had not enlisted. It was stressed that if men did not come forward to fill the gaps the lives that had been lost would have been lost in vain. Parents were urged not to put any obstacles in their sons' way. On 2nd March 1916 the Military Service Act came into force. This decreed that every unmarried man of military age, who did not qualify for an exemption, was required to enlist. If he did not enlist, he was then called up.
Blackburn's Labour MP Philip Snowden was opposed to the War. He had refused to join the Mayor's recruiting campaign saying 'I refuse to ask any young man to sacrifice his life for me. I am not going through eternity haunted by the ghosts of slain young men who lost their lives because of my inducing them to join the Army.' He opposed conscription, believing that it should be an individual's right to decide for himself whether or not to join up.