Recruitment and War Bond Posters

Many of the images we most associate with the Edwardian (pre-war) era come from the development of the poster as a commercial art form of great drawing power and sophistication, not to say as well manipulative energy and evocative visual imagery. I quote from David Howarth's study of the Royal Navy and the building and staffing in this era of the great ships of war, The Dreadnoughts (1979):

"Well established by 1900 as an advertising medium, the poster was uniquely suited to mass persuasion. While the audience for newspapers and leaflets was limited, the poster, through arresting combination of image and word, could bring the government's appeals to virtually everyone. And so it did. The government assembled lithographers and slogan writers, typographers and printers under the command of the propaganda bureau and a bipartisan Parliamentary Recruiting Committee. Together the two agencies produced hundreds of different posters, which were plastered by the milllions across Britain" ( p. 64).


H. R. Hopps. American Recrutiment Poster: Destroy This Mad Brute--Enlist

Fred Spear. American Recruitment Poster: Enlist

Graham Simmons. British Recruitment Poster: The Army Isn't All Work (1919)

Joyce Dennys. British Recruitment Poster: VAD are urgently needed

British Recruitment Poster: British Women! the Royal Air Force needs your help (1918)

British Recruitment Poster: Women's Royal Naval Service

National War Bonds: Every Pound Invested . . . Means More Ships, More Food, and Earlier Victory


British Recruitment Poster: Royal Naval Division (1915)


Lt. General Baden Powell. British Recruitment Poster: Are YOU in this?