Asquith at War - coalition and conscription

The coalition was formed on 25 May 1915, with the Conservative and Unionist Party providing eight of the twenty-two members of the new Cabinet, which also included Arthur Henderson, the Labour leader. The arrangement was never a happy one, and there were numerous crises. Major disputes occurred over the conscription issue which nearly brought the government down in April 1916. This was followed immediately by the Easter Rising.

After the unsatisfactory conclusion of the Somme offensive in November 1916, the Conservatives brought the government down by resigning. A new coalition was formed under the leadership of David Lloyd George, Asquith’s erstwhile Minister of Munitions and War Secretary, who it was believed would prosecute the war with greater vigour.

(All images are protected by copyright. Please do not use without permission.)

Previous: Asquith at War - 1915 crises                       Next: The Easter Rising - 1916
Back to top