'The Veteran's Farewell'
This poster was designed by Frank Dadd (1851-1929) and published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee (PRC) in December 1914. It depicts a new soldier heading off to the front, stopping to shake hands with a Chelsea Pensioner. First published as a tobacco advertisement for Abdulla and Co., it was re-issued by the PRC in black and white and colour versions.
The Chelsea Pensioners are retired veterans with long service, and the one depicted here is wearing several campaign medals. The poster implies that Victorian soldiers had done their duty to Britain and it is now time for a new generation to step forward and fulfil their responsibility in a changing of the guard.
Men of fighting age in 1914 grew up learning of the exploits of Victorian soldiers in preceding conflicts through popular publications such as 'Boy's Own Paper,' and the martial heroes of that period such as Lords Roberts, Kitchener and Baden-Powell, were afforded celebrity status in Edwardian Britain.
In the background, a recruiting sergeant is leading a column of new recruits still in civilian clothes, ranging from city workers in pin-stripped suits and bowler hats to labourers in workers' dungarees and soft caps, as a visual reminder that men from all walks of life were expected to volunteer.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection