'The Boys are doing Splendidly', recruiting poster, 1916 (c)
Printed by The Gleaner Company Limited, 148 and 130 Harbour Street, Jamaica.
The British West Indies Regiment (BWIR) was raised in October 1915 from volunteers living in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Bahamas, British Honduras, Grenada, British Guiana, the Leeward Islands, St Lucia and St Vincent. The majority of the 15,600 eventual recruits came Jamaica, and served with the British forces in North Africa, France, Mesopotamia and Palestine.
This poster was aimed at potential recruits in the Bahamas and was probably published in early 1916 after two initial 'contingents' of local men had already arrived in the listed war theatres. In total 486 Bahamians volunteered for the BWIR, with others serving in the regular British, Canadian and American armies.
Stylistically, the poster echoes those published in Britain during the opening weeks of the war, with the Royal Arms prominently displayed at the top and a clear injunction to fight for the King. Other recruiting posters published in the British West Indies were similarly unambiguous; reminding locals that it was their duty to defend the 'mother country', even though many would have had no direct ties with Great Britain.
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National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection
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