Remember Scarborough! Enlist Now


On December 16, 1914, a German naval force of battle cruisers under the command of Admiral Franz von Hipper bombarded the English North Sea coastal towns of Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby, killing 122 civilians and wounding 443. The attack was made as part of a German plan to draw the numerically superior British fleet out into the North Sea, where it would be vulnerable to German minefields and submarine attack. Scarborough was undefended, lacking any gun emplacements, and the British government and public opinion strongly condemned the attack on a defenseless town and the killing of civilians. The Germans believed that Scarborough was defended by gun batteries and was a legitimate military target. This poster, showing the figure of Britannia carrying the British flag and leading citizens from a pastoral landscape with a city in flames in the background, invoked what became known as the Scarborough Raid to encourage British men to enlist in the armed forces.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, London


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 150 x 99 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: July 3, 2014