Conscription poster

Commonwealth Government of Australia1916-09

State Library of Queensland

State Library of Queensland
South Brisbane, Australia

A Commonwealth Government of Australia conscription poster printed in anticipation of and under the assumption that the 1916 Referendum would return a ''Yes' vote. The poster announced the activation of legislation - a War Service Regulation which would allow the government to conscript men to the Citizen Forces. Although the legality of the proclamation was challenged, and many felt that the introduction of compulsory training was a presage to conscription, large numbers of men were forced into service in the weeks before the October 1916 referendum. However, following the defeat of the conscription referendum, camps were closed down, and the problem of sourcing reinforcements remained. The poster was authorised by Sir Munro Ferguson, Governor-General of Australia and G.F. Pearce, the Minister of State for Defence. Pearce was one of the main advocates for conscription in Australia.

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