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Rare Second World War posters to go under the hammer

By Surrey Mirror  |  Posted: June 09, 2014

  • NO SHIRKING: The country needs you

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THE 70th anniversary this week of D-Day has reminded people of the tremendous sacrifices and efforts servicemen and women, and their families, made to help win the Second World War.

And, next week, by coincidence, a collection of striking colour wartime posters will be offered for auction in Bletchingley.

On Tuesday, Lawrences Auctioneers, in High Street, is putting under the hammer a collection of more than 250 posters, which have come from the estate of an unnamed local resident who died recently.

The British information and propaganda posters include six rare and previously unsold "Keep Calm and Carry On" post-invasion posters.

The collection will be divided up and offered as 180 separate lots.

Auctioneer Robin Lawrence said: "The collection was found as a whole group in original folded and rolled condition, kept in a chest of drawers for 70 years.

"Many still retain envelopes and labels addressed to HM Inspector of Taxes, Hendon.

"While some of the posters have clearly been displayed at the time of production, many have been surplus to requirements and therefore unused.

"The collection also includes 'official use only' diagram posters, produced for the Ministry for the RAF."

The collection will be on view tomorrow (Friday) and this Saturday, from 9am to 5pm.

One lot is a 40-inch tall poster asking "He's in the silent service, are you?".

It was printed for H.M. Stationery Office by Stafford & Co. Limited and is estimated to fetch between £200 and £400.

A 30-inch tall "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster – an original print intended for circulation if we were invaded – is expected to attract bids of £400 to £600, especially given the slogan's current popularity.

Another eye-catching poster states simply: "Together" and depicts the world's forces coming together. It was printed by Lowe & Brydone and is 30 inches tall.

This poster, said Mr Lawrence, is likely to see bids of between £100 and £200.

One of the most interesting posters is a "restricted" Air Ministry poster, depicting a flying bomb – doodlebug – with cut away sections to reveal the internal workings.

It was designed by P E Castle and could attract bids of between £100 and £200.

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