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Propaganda: Production - salvage

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"Remember – they're relying on you" by Bream, Post-1941. Gouache on board.

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Remember – they're relying on you

"Remember – they're relying on you" by Bream, Post-1941

Catalogue ref: INF 3 /123Links to the Catalogue


An industrial worker, helmeted and holding an electric drill, appears behind a squadron of fighters in formation, above a shot-down German aircraft. The image, with the slogan ‘Remember – they're relying on you', emphasised Churchill's message that factory workers were ‘soldiers with different weapons but with the same courage'. Many campaigns were produced which were intended to develop a ‘spirit of personal responsibility' in every industrial worker.

In wartime, production crises made headline news, and the question of productivity was key, particularly in 1941 and 1942 (when the Ministry of Production was formed). In April 1941, records in CAB 21/156 suggested that factory workers did not ‘thoroughly' understand the importance of their role, and that this should be addressed. Workers in the factories needed to be encouraged to see their role as ‘fighters', because, ‘except in the assembling works, few workers appreciate the full significance of the parts' on which they worked. A Home Intelligence report in INF 292/B speaks of ‘deep resentment' among many war workers at repeated appeals to ‘increase output and stay at their jobs'. There was no question of workers ‘wanting to slack, but shortage of material and bad internal organisation make it impossible for them to do otherwise.' Absenteeism amongst workers who did not feel their work to be crucial to the war effort was a problem.