For the tea party the ‘war cake’ (from FL Calder’s 1914 recipe) was once again provided by Michelle Allen, including a vegetarian option this time, and David provided a portable gramophone (dating from the 1930s but similar to the Decca Trench Gramophone, popular for use in the trenches due to its portable nature) along with a selection of 78s from the era.
David’s talk provided a fascinating insight into the nature of propaganda and how it was used in the First World War, focussing on 1914-1916 and looking at the output of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee during this period. Far from being an organised campaign orchestrated by government, reflecting only the views of the government, David illustrated how the posters actually built on existing feelings and desires within the population and were produced in an ad hoc free flowing fashion as ‘propaganda from below’.
For more information about the exhibition Over by Christmas? Life in Liverpool during the First World War and the associated programme of events please see the Libraries Together website.