Civil Defence Poster

Following the end of the Second World War, it was decided that the threat to Britain from a nucelar equipped Soviet Union was such that it was necessary to reform the Civil Defence Corps and from 1949 over 300,000 men and women were recruited into both the Civil Defence Corps and other voluntary groups such as the Royal Observer Corps. To recruit the citizens needed for these forces, posters were put up to encourage people to join:

The emphasis is very much on making the reader question if he is doing enough to support his community and the country, with the emphasis on the word ‘you’. Behind the wording can be seen the initials of the Civil Defence in red, with a crown above:

This particular poster was printed in August 1950:

Over the first few years of the existence of the Civil Defence services, dozens of different posters were produced. Some, like this one, were generic and referred to all the different branches of Civil Defence. Others were targeted to a particular area such as the Special Constabulary or the AFS. They are striking examples of post war graphic design and this one has been framed and has pride of place on the wall going up my stairs at home now.

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