Lord Kitchener Says: Enlist To-Day
Printed by David Allen & Sons Ld., Harrow, Middlesex 
London: Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, 1915

Field Marshal Herbert, Lord Kitchener was Britain’s War Minister from 1914-16. He was unique in believing that the war would not end quickly and that unexpectedly high numbers of men would be required. When the fighting began, Britain had only a small professional army of approximately 250,000 men, and the government was determined to keep military service voluntary. 

The iconic “Your Country Needs You” recruitment posters, featuring Kitchener pointing directly at would-be enlistees, was part of an effort that saw more than 1 million men join-up in the autumn of 1914 alone.  By the summer of 1915, however, the original British Expeditionary Force had been lost, while the volunteers of the “Kitchener Army” were being used up rapidly.  Many began to call for national conscription. As this poster suggests, those young men who had yet to volunteer were being charged with preventing this drastic measure.