Sporting themes were used in Australian World War One recruitment posters.
Harry John Weston, born in Tasmania in 1874, was a cartoonist and commercial artist who established his own business as a commercial artist in Melbourne. Weston was among a group of artists selected to create posters for recruitment campaigns.
By 1903, Harry Weston was a well-known poster artist. During World War One he was commissioned to create recruitment posters, some of which used sporting images to encourage men to enlist.
As the First World War dragged on, a concerted propaganda campaign was needed to help fill the ranks. The poster was a useful for propaganda as it was cheap and easy to mass produce, and highly visible. The States' recruiting committees selected artists with well recognised skills and previous commercial experience to design the posters.
Australian First World War recruitment poster advertising a 'Sportsman's Recruiting Day' from 27 July 1917 was created by Harry Weston. It features an image of a man donning his soldier's uniform on the left side of the poster. In the right his disgarded sporting equipment including a football, boxing gloves, a tennis racket and golf clubs are visible.
"U are wanted in the Sport's Unit” was created in 1917 and played to the Australian love of sport.
“Which picture would your father like to show his friends?” created by Harry Weston appeals to a sense of duty by contrasting two men the Australian soldier or the man lounging in his cricket whites enjoying a drink while reading a book.