After making an appeal for recruits in 1914, Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener received this letter from 9-year-old Alfie Knight of Dublin:
Dear Lord Kitchner,
I am an Irish boy 9 years of age and I want to go to the front. I can ride jolley quick on my bicycle and would go as despatch ridder. I wouldint let the germans get it. I am a good shot with a revolver and would kill a good vue of the germans. I am very strong and often win a fight with lads twice as big as mysels. I want a uneform and a revolver and will give a good acount of myself. Pleese send an anencer.
The War Office sent him this reply:
Lord Kitchener asks me to thank you for your letter, but he is afraid that you are not yet quite old enough to go to the front as a dispatch rider.
(From the Imperial War Museum.)