'Join the ATS', 1941
Coloured lithograph recruiting poster, after Abram Games, published by HM Stationery Office, London, 1941. Signed by the artist.
This was one of the first posters that Abram Games designed for the Army. At the time he was a corporal in the Royal Engineers and insisted on signing his name 'A Games RE'. The poster depicts Doreen Murphy a young woman in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) who had previously asked Games to design a poster for a dance. He agreed on the condition that she posed for a recruitment poster wearing the new style ATS cap.
Nicknamed the 'blonde bombshell', this poster succeeded in encouraging young women to join the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), which had been viewed as less glamourous than the other services. In a heated debate in Parliament, Thelma Cazalet-Keir MP objected to the soldier's lipstick, commenting:
'Our girls should be attracted into the Army through patriotism and not glamour. It is not the kind of poster to encourage mothers to send their girls into the Army.'
Although this poster encouraged enlistment, it was withdrawn and most copies were destroyed.
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
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