"A Happy New Year to Our Gallant Soldiers!" You Can Make It Certain If You Join Now


This poster created in early 1915, designed and printed by Johnson, Riddle & Company for the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in the United Kingdom, shows British soldiers marching toward victory in World War I. After Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, posters such as this were used to encourage men to enlist in the armed forces. The optimistic visual imagery promised victory in the new year, provided enough men joined the fight. In the early months of the conflict, many people in Britain believed that the war would be over by Christmas. This clearly did not happen. In early 1915, the British Expeditionary Force was bogged down in heavy fighting on the Western front in France. In January 1916, Parliament passed the Military Service Act, which went into force on March 2, 1916, introducing conscription and ending Britain’s reliance on volunteers for the war effort. The act specified that men between the ages of 18 and 41 were liable to being called up for service in the army. Men who were married, widowed with children, or who worked in certain reserved professions were exempt.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, London


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 75 x 49 centimeters



  1. Roy Douglas, “Voluntary Enlistment in the First World War and the Work of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee,” Journal of Modern History 42, number 4 (December 1970).

Last updated: November 14, 2017