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Propaganda: The fighting forces

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"The life-line is firm thanks to the Merchant Navy" by Charles Wood, 1942. Gouache on board.

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The life-line is firm thanks to the Merchant Navy

"The life-line is firm thanks to the Merchant Navy" by Charles Wood, 1942

Catalogue ref: INF 3/869Links to the Catalogue


Concept art, which would form the basis posters for the Merchant Navy, and the Merchant Navy Comforts Service. The ultra-realistic image depicts a coxswain at a ship's wheel, and an officer with binoculars. This artwork was refined until it became a poster with the caption ‘The life-line is firm thanks to the Merchant Navy'. INF 13/213Links to the Catalogue (Piece 52)

One of the posters appeared in Advertiser's Weekly in January 1942, reproduced in a larger size than usual so as not to lose the detail, as many believed that it was the best poster of the war so far. The poster was for a window display, to replace the focus on fuel economy of the previous month.