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Object: Poster, ’Volunteer For National Service’

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Title Poster, ’Volunteer For National Service’
Production E. V. Paul, Government Printer (printing firm), Late 1940, Wellington
Medium summary Two colour block printed text with halftone photolithographic image on paper
Materials paper, printing ink
Classification political posters
Technique photolithography
Dimensions Overall: 760mm (Height) x 505mm (Width)
Format vertical format
Credit line Gift of Mr C H Andrews, 1967
Registration number GH014036

This poster was designed and printed in the first year of World War II. It calls for volunteers to join in the war effort at home.

The poster details the official options available to both civilian men and women to contribute to the war effort in New Zealand. The imagery indicates the equality of these contributions by placing the man and woman on an even picture plane. However, their roles are prescribed – the woman is dressed as a nurse and the man as a member of the Home Guard.

Home defence forces
The Home Guard, the Women's War Service Auxiliary, and the Emergency Precautions Scheme (EPS) made up New Zealand's home defence forces. New Zealanders over the age of 18 gave thousands of unpaid hours to these organisations.

The Women’s War Service Auxiliary was established in August 1940 to co-ordinate the war efforts of New Zealand women, and remained a voluntary organisation. Membership of the Home Guard and the EPS became compulsory for men in 1942. Women could also volunteer for the EPS, but once enrolled, could not resign.

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