Are YOU in This?
This 1915 poster, published in London for the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, shows soldiers and other citizens busy with war work, as a well-dressed man looks on pensively. The man is clearly being urged to enlist. Until March 2, 1916, when the Military Service Act introduced conscription, Great Britain’s World War I army was comprised entirely of volunteers, and many of the most famous wartime posters were recruitment appeals. The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee was set up following the outbreak of war in August 1914. A cross-party organization chaired by the prime minister, Herbert Asquith, it used the infrastructure of the British political parties in parliamentary districts to support recruitment for the armed forces. Party activists were called upon to distribute leaflets and organize rallies, processions, and public meetings. The committee commissioned some 200 posters, most of which were published before the introduction of conscription. The illustration on this poster, number 112 in the series, is by Robert Baden Powell (1857–1941). Best-known as the founder of the scouting movement, Baden Powell was a lieutenant general in the British army; he was also a writer and a skilled amateur artist.
Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, London
Type of Item
1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 76 x 50 centimeters
- 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).
- Allen Warren, “Powell, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-, first Baron Baden-Powell (1857–1941),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Last updated: January 17, 2017