First World War exhibition at Hackney Museum

1st World War propaganda poster. Pic: Hackney Council

1st World War propaganda poster. Pic: Hackney Council

An exhibition called ‘The Art of War: Posters and Propaganda from the First World War’ will open in Hackney Museum on February 23rd 2016.

The exhibition will show posters which portray all members of British society who were involved in the war effort. The posters were put up in recruitment offices and public buildings to encourage men to enlist.

In 1924 the local MP, Leonard Benjamin Franklin donated more than 100 original recruitment posters to the borough of Hackney.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture in Hackney said, “Thousands of men signed up to serve in WW1 and millions lost their lives. At a time of national commemoration Hackney is giving people an opportunity to understand more about how people were recruited to fight, while learning about those who objected to the war.”

In one poster, everyone can be seen carrying the tools of their trade, with ordinary people gradually changing into British infantrymen. Posters which were aimed at women can also be seen in the exhibition, showing how women were asked to encourage men to join the army.

In Hackney, around 27,000 men enlisted to serve in the war.

Further information can found in Hackney Museum ( and Hackney Archive( website.

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