Young Men of the Bahamas. Enlist To-day


This World War I poster, produced in Kingston, Jamaica, was used to recruit soldiers from the Bahamas for the British West Indies Regiment (BWIR). The regiment was established by the British War Office in 1915 and enlisted men from the Bahamas and throughout the British Caribbean colonies for the war effort. The poster declares: “The British Empire is engaged in a Life and Death Struggle. Never in the History of England, never since the Misty Distant Past of 2,000 years ago, has our beloved Country been engaged in such a conflict as she is engaged in to-day.” Appealing to imperial patriotism and loyalty to King George V, the poster calls on “men of every class, creed, and colour, to come forward to fight.” The appeal for manpower from the colonies, including men of African descent, was in response to the heavy losses that Britain had suffered on the Western front early in the war. The BWIR was composed of 12 battalions, and served in different theaters of the war, including Egypt and Palestine, Mesopotamia, France and Flanders, and Italy.

Last updated: February 10, 2014