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War and National Savings
‘Saving for their future’
In 1916, the government began to issue war bonds as a way of raising money. Since the First World War, National Savings campaigns have invited the public to invest in war bonds and related products. The result has been a range of attractive posters, often by the best commercial artists.
Various themes included appeals to patriotism, how money was being used in the war effort and visions of a better world once victory had been achieved.
The artist Albert Thomas drew a number of war savings posters in both world wars. One of his posters below is a colourful view of a vessel under construction in a busy shipyard.
Savings campaigns were launched within weeks of the declaration of war in 1939. Early posters often featured children, such as this boy in the poster below, playing with his toy crane drawn by Tom Purvis in 1940.
War savings posters appeared everywhere, from factory canteens to air raid shelters. They were also designed for particular groups, such as women war workers, who were encouraged to save for an idyllic post-war future with their husbands and children.
Over time, National Savings became a mass movement with thousands of groups in schools and workplaces where small amounts could be deposited. Among our images is a set of posters depicting the ‘Bob in the pound’ campaign.
Fight with National War Bonds, c1918/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-11-fight-with-national-war-bonds-woman-with-flag-c1918.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/11
More ships more food, artist Albert Thomas, 1918/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-7-more-ships-more-food-1918-artist-albert-thomas.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/7
Lend to defend his right to be free, artist Tom Purvis, 1940/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-34-lend-to-defend-his-right-to-be-free-1940-artist-tom-purvis.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/34
Wings for victory - the sky's the limit, 1943/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-96-wings-for-victory-the-skys-the-limit-1943.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/96
Dreams - War savings will bring them to life, artist Lowen, 1943/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-100-dreams-war-savings-will-bring-them-to-life-1943-artist-lowen.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/100
War savings will make your dreams come true, 1943/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-110-war-savings-will-make-your-dreams-come-true-1943.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/110
Tell them to make it a war savings Christmas, 1943/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-114-tell-them-to-make-it-a-war-savings-christmas-1943.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/114
Save at least a bob in the pound for final victory, 1945/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-150-save-at-least-a-bob-in-the-pound-for-final-victory-1945.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/150
Worth saving for their future, 1945/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-159-worth-saving-for-their-future-keep-on-saving-1945.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/159
Thanksgiving - our mightiest effort yet, 1945/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc5-175-thanksgiving-our-mightiest-effort-yet-1945.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 5/175
Save for blue skies ahead, artist Le Bon/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc61-11-save-for-blue-skies-ahead-artist-le-bon.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 61/11
Keep your balance in the Post Office savings bank, artist Huveneers/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc61-26-keep-your-balance-in-the-post-office-savings-bank-artist-huveneers.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 61/26
For an occasion such as this... Savings Bank/images/imagelibrary/showcase/war-and-national-savings/nsc61-10-for-an-occasion-such-as-this-savings-bank.jpg
Catalogue reference: NSC 61/10
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