Canadian Wartime Propaganda
First World War Propaganda Poster
Soldiers of the Soil, Boys to the Front
This poster encourages teenaged boys to serve Canada by taking over farm work previously done by men now gone to war. The imagery and language attempts to equate the home front with military service - in effect, militarizing it - to make it appear more attractive to young boys. It even advertises a military-style decoration for those who serve. The point is made visually by the inclusion of a First World War battle scene at the left to which the boy on horseback points.
Military service was a difficult subject for many farm families, especially in light of conscription, because an agricultural labour shortage imperilled their economic survival. Recruiting boys for farm work helped placate powerful rural constituencies, especially in central and western Canada, which feared the war would both take their sons and ruin their livelihoods.
Designer and printer unknown
Published by the Canada Food Board
Commercial colour print, around 1917 Canada