Keep mum

A poster using the ‘Keep Mum, she’s not so dumb!’ slogan, 1939-1946, Catalogue ref: INF 13/217/20

A famous slogan used on public information posters was ‘Keep Mum – she’s not so dumb’. It encouraged people not to gossip or talk about the war effort in case their conversations were overheard by spies. The ‘Careless Talk Cost Lives’ campaign was very successful. It worked because people found the message easy to follow.

  • The men in this poster are wearing uniforms. Can you identify which of the armed forces they are serving in?
  • Do we have any clues who the woman is? What do you think she could be?
  • Who is the poster aimed at? What is its message?
  • Do you think this poster would be used today? Give reasons for your answer.
  • Look at two other posters: ‘Be careful what you say’ Catalogue ref: INF 3/232 and ‘Don’t forget walls have ears!’ Catalogue ref: INF 13/217/28. How do these posters deliver the message about the dangers of careless talk?
  • Which of the three posters featured in this collection is the most effective? Explain your reasons for choosing it.


Keep mum, she’s not so dumb!


Return to Home Front 1939-1945 (part two)