by Melvyn Gallagher
With the continuation of World War One commemorations a recent £1 miniature sheet from Jersey illustrates the recruiting poster entitled “Are YOU In This?” designed by B-P. Within the design are figures of a navy sailor, a soldier being handed bullets by a Boy Scout, a nurse, a female munitions worker and a blacksmith. At the side stands a young man to which the poster is aimed - at somebody that no doubt B-P would have described as a “loaferö.
This poster is number 112 from a series of around 200 designs in different shapes and sizes published by Parliamentary Recruiting Committee set up in August, 1914. This was a cross party organisation chaired by the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith. It used the party infrastructures in parliamentary constituencies to support recruitment with the party activists distributing leaflets, organising rallies, processions and public meetings. These posters were published before conscription in January 1916 and in 1916 the PRC became the Parliamentary War Savings Committee.
There are, to my knowledge, two other posters from this series that also depict Boy Scouts, all in my collection, showing that the patriotic zeal of the Boy Scouts could shame adults into volunteering and signing up to the colours. Number 61 is a simple in silhouette entitled “What Will Your Answer Be”. The other poster is number 122, designed by Baron Low in 1915, entitled “Everyone Should Do His Bit”. A splendid design of a Boy Scout drummer standing before a wall covered with other recruiting posters. Perhaps these posters will also be reproduced as stamps.