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Teaching the First World War
Teaching the First World War

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2 Propaganda in Britain

At the start of the war, before the government had introduced conscription, propaganda often focused on encouraging young men to volunteer for the army. This involved the production of numerous posters, a task which was overseen by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee and led by members of parliament. The British also created the War Propaganda Bureau, which was usually known as ‘Wellington House’ after its central London location.

Wellington House focused on the production of propaganda aimed at neutral countries and especially the USA, with the hope of persuading these nations to join the war on the side of Britain and its allies. Wellington House often worked with non-governmental organisations and individuals, including well-known authors and private publishing houses, to arrange the production of books and pamphlets that promoted the British war effort.

In 1917, Wellington House was combined with a number of smaller propaganda organisations to form the Department of Information, which oversaw most foreign and domestic propaganda. In 1918, this organisation was expanded again to form the Ministry of Information.

You can read more about British war propaganda on the War Propaganda Bureau [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] page of 1914–1918 Online.