Great War recruitment posters exhibition at Wakefield Museum

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AN EXHIBITION of rarely seen First World War recruitment posters is being launched at Wakefield Museum later this month.

The new display called ‘A Call to Arms – the art of persuasion’ will feature 34 posters from the museum’s collections that have not been displayed for at least 20 years.

All the posters date from 1914 to 1915, before conscription to the armed services was introduced in 1916.

They were mainly produced by the Parliamentary Recruitment Committee as part of a national campaign.

The posters were designed to appeal to men’s sense of patriotic duty, social responsibility and vulnerability.

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “The First World War is a fascinating part of our history and I would encourage people to come and see these recruitment posters.

“They give a great insight into the many and varied techniques that were used to persuade men to joined the armed forces, as well as being interesting as art.”

The exhibition, which will run from February 28 to September 26, is part of a wider programme of events at the museum on Burton Street to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Last year, the museum team created the Great War Trail around Wakefield Museum.

A series of First World War objects were scattered around the permanent collections illustrating how war affected all areas of life in the district.

Objects on display included weapons used in the trenches and a jar of plums bottled on the first day of the First World War.

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