Fighting a war is costly and countries need to collect funds any way they can. Along with taxes, the government encouraged Canadians to buy Victory Bonds to help finance the war. Many posters advertised Victory Bonds as a way of showing support for troops overseas. There were also recruitment posters, with many trying to entice men to enlist, using both patriotism and guilt. Here are some of the posters that rallied Canadians during the First World War.

This poster uses images of poppies and John McCrae’s famous poem to sell Victory Bonds. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19850475-013.)

Shells explode and German soldiers flee in panic in this poster attempting to recruit for the 245th Battalion, Canadian Grenadier Guards, from Montreal. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19820376-004.)

This poster evokes the image of the Llandovery Castle, a Canadian hospital ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland on June 27, 1918. In the attack, 94 Canadian medical officers and nurses were killed. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19850475-034.)

Based on James Whistler’s famous painting of his mother, this poster encouraged men to enlist with the Irish Canadian Rangers to fight for the women in their lives. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19780473-011.)

A recruitment poster for the 207th Battalion of Ottawa-Carleton, a unit which went overseas in 1917, but was later broken up and its soldiers sent to reinforce other front-line infantry battalions. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19820376-008.)

This poster was recruiting women for the Voluntary Aid Detachment. Although these volunteers lacked the formal medical training of nurses, they provided medical assistance to patients during the war. More than 1,800 Canadian women volunteered by the end of 1917 and at least 500 were sent overseas. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19920143-009.)

This poster demands that Canadians living in the United States enlist in either the British or Canadian army. Almost 40,000 Americans ended up serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19730004-070.)

A recruitment poster for the 163rd Battalion showing a Canadian infantry soldier standing with a French soldier. The image was designed to appeal to French-Canadians’ military history with specific references to famous soldiers. It also highlighted the links between Canada and France, and asks French-speaking Quebecers if they would prefer Prussian (German) institutions to their own. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19750046-009.)

As a national appeal for farm labour, the Canada Food Board released this poster, asking boys aged 15 to 19 to volunteer their summers as “Soldiers of the Soil” on farms desperately short of labour. More than 22,000 would serve, replacing farm hands that enlisted. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19890086-885.)

This is the French version of a recruitment poster that was produced in both languages. The poster was meant to encourage recruitment by highlighting the Canadians’ heroic stand at the battles of St. Julien (Ypres) and Festubert. (Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum, CWM 19880207-002.)