First world war recruitment poster to auction

A British first world war recruitment poster is offered in an upcoming sale at Canterbury Auction Galleries.

The rare design references the bombing of the Yorkshire seaside resort of Scarborough by the German navy on December 16, 1914.

WW1 poster Scarborough

The 1914 attack on the Yorkshire coast dramatically raised recruitment numbers 

The Germans hit several towns along the Yorkshire coast, including Whitby, Hull and Hartlepool. Around 122 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the morning raid.

One man present during the attack described how “in an instant beds and furniture were mangled remnants and ruins.

“The room was left in indescribable confusion, and holes were torn in walls and articles in all directions.”

The shocking attack led to a massive increase in recruitment in Britain.

Posters like this one capitalised on the anger felt in the country at the time.

It reads: "Remember Scarborough! The Germans who brag of their ‘culture’ have shown what it is made of by murdering defenceless women and children at Scarborough.

“This only strengthens Great Britain's resolve will crush the German barbarians. Enlist Now"

Dating back well over a century, the poster is rare in any condition. It’s valued at £300-500 ($405-675).

There’s also a Union Jack-emblazoned poster from 1914, which reads: "Your King And Country Need You. Enlist Now."

WW1 Union Field

This was the first British recruitment poster designed for the first world war 

It’s also valued at £300-500 ($405-675).

The design, by Eric Field of the Caxton Advertising Agency, was the first recruitment poster to be issued in the UK since the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).

The phrase would later be adapted for the iconic poster featuring Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener.

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