Source and activity 1

'Women of Britain say "Go!"' — poster, around 1915

'Women of Britain say - 'Go!': wartime recruitment poster
First World War recruitment
View larger poster

This poster was published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee (PRC), a cross-party organisation which was set up to encourage men to enlist.

As well as commissioning over 200 different posters, the PRC also organised rallies, processions and public meetings.

Most of the PRC posters were published before conscription was introduced in 1916.

Suggested activities

Do you think the poster was designed to appeal to men or to women, or both?

What is the main message that the poster aims to convey? How does it achieve this aim? Think about the text, imagery, and the emotional impact of the design. How successful do you think the poster might have been in encouraging men to enlist?

Look at the imagery in the poster. What view of women is being presented here? What social roles are emphasised? What does the poster say about the expected roles of men and women during wartime? What words would you use to describe the two women shown in the picture?

Look at where the men and women are placed in the picture. What effect is achieved by placing the women and child indoors and close to the viewer, and the men outside? Which figure do you feel most connected to in the picture?


Source and activity 2



Themes in focus — Women in the Great War


Find out more about women in the First World War in NLS collections

Search our catalogue for details of books about women's role in the First World War.


View list of material relating to Mairi Chisholm (PDF: 56 KB; 2 pages) in the military and naval papers collections at NLS.


Explore our web feature 'Experiences of War' web feature based on diaries and first-hand accounts.


View official photographs of the First World War .


Learn about the women's suffrage movement in Scotland in our online learning resource.


Visit Scotland on Screen to find film clips relating to the First World War and women at work.

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