'Wasted Clothing Equipment is Another Ship Lost', 1942
Lithograph poster designed by Abram Games (1914-1996), printed by Elm Press Limited, for HM Stationery Office, 1942.
Born in 1914 to Latvian and Russo-Polish parents in Whitechapel, East London, Abram Games joined the Army in 1939 and was quickly designated the role of draughtsman. By 1942 he had been promoted to captain and was the only Official War Poster Artist for the rest of the Second World War.
As Official War Artist Games produced about 100 extraordinary posters for the British Army, ranging in theme from recruitment, through to personal hygiene and post-war re-training. This poster instructs soldiers to look after their equipment and not to waste it. The text states: 'Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you'.
Waste in peacetime costs money; in war it costs lives. Rationing was introduced in 1939 to reduce the quantity of imports. This freed up the Merchant Navy to keep the country supplied with raw materials, arms, ammunition and other vital supplies. During the war, 36,749 seamen died due to enemy action.
After the war his freelance career went from strength to strength with commissions for the Festival of Britain, the United Nations, Shell, Guinness and the BBC. After a career spanning over 60 years, Games died in 1996 leaving a legacy of daring, distinctive and elegant images.
Justly famous for his innovative and bold poster commissions, Games claimed that the perfect design employed 'maximum meaning, minimum means'.
From a collection of 45 posters from World War Two (1939-1945).
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection