King's College London
Online Exhibitions
The Cartoon in Wartime Propaganda

British Colonies

Anglo-French solidarity leafletAnglo-French solidarity leafletDuring World War One, Britain turned to its Empire and Dominions in its hour of need.

Recruitment posters included the famous, 'The Empire Needs Men' by Arthur Wardle, one of the leading British animal painters of his day, and published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in 1915.

Anti-German leaflet targetted on West AfricaAnti-German leaflet targetted on West AfricaThis showed a grizzled old lion (Britain) being supported by a pride of younger lions representing her imperial allies.

British Ministry of Information pamphlets used cartoons and art extensively during World War Two to warn British colonies, for example, in West Africa, that they might expect to be governed with brutality and racism if the Nazis were to secure victory in Europe.

Images of slavery and arbitrary punishment are contrasted with the benefits of benign British rule, which are depicted as access to law, medicine and schooling.

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