The Empire needs men!

Accession Number ARTV00819
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 74.8 x 50.4 cm
Object type Poster
Physical description Lithograph on paper
Maker Wardle, Arthur
Parliamentary Recruiting Committee
Straker Brothers Ltd
Place made United Kingdom
Date made 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


British First World War Recruitment poster (No.58) issued by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee (PRC). It features a naturalistic drawing by Arthur Wardle, one of Britain's most renowned animal painters of the Victorian era, of an old male lion standing on a large rock surrounded by four younger lions. The old lion is symbolic of Britain, the greatest imperial power at the turn of the twentieth century, calling on her dominions and colonies, the younger lions, to send men to fight in the war. The image fills the majority with the title and message text positioned above and below. Both the image and text are set against a golden yellow background within a black border.

The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee (PRC), was set up following the outbreak of war in August 1914. This was a cross-party organisation chaired by the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith. It utilised the party infrastructure in parliamentary constituencies to support recruitment - party activists were called upon to distribute leaflets, and organise rallies, processions and public meetings. The PRC commissioned some 200 posters, mostly published before the introduction of conscription, Jan 1916. In Jul 1915, the PRC became the Parliamentary War Savings Committee.