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Object: Poster, ’Enrolment of Expeditionary Force Reserve’

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Title Poster, ’Enrolment of Expeditionary Force Reserve’
Production National Recruiting Board (publisher), August 1916, New Zealand
Government Printer (printer), August 1916, Wellington
Materials paper, ink
Classification official documents, posters, political posters
Technique letterpress printing
Dimensions Overall: 345mm (Height) x 217mm (Width)
Credit line Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1919
Registration number GH017655

This First World War poster was printed when conscription became law in New Zealand on 1 August 1916. It details the obligations and requirements under the Military Service Act, 1916.

Different sizes of this poster were printed. This is an example of the smaller placard version, of which 130,000 copies were printed and distributed throughout New Zealand for display.


The depth and breadth of their display was impressive. Under the War Regulations, posters and placards could be supplied to the 'owner or occupier of any shop, factory, office, wharf, hotel, or boardinghouse, or…any other premises which are frequented by the public', including licensed clubs, tramcars, Harbour Board offices, passenger and coastal steamers, roads, streets, railway stations, junctions, railway carriages, police stations, motion picture theatres, tourist resorts, Defence Offices, Public Works Department sites and camps, post and telegraph offices. They had to displayed in a 'conspicuous place' for at least one calendar month (New Zealand Government 1916).

However, not everyone saw these posters and placards. Even though they were sent to isolated communities, full registration and mobilisation were hampered by the thousands of men living and working in isolated back country areas, only occasionally picking up mail and newspapers, or travelling on public transport.

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