The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War £2



Issued 2014
Diameter 28.4mm
Weight 12g
Composition Outer: nickel-brass 76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc
Composition Inner: Cupro-nickel 75% copper, 25% nickel
Obverse Ian Rank-Broadley
Reverse John Bergdahl
Edge Milled
Inscription The lamps are going out all over Europe
Mintage 5,720,000
B.U pack C

£10.00 L
2014 I
Sold 40,357 K

Design details:

In 1914 Lord Kitchener was appointed to mastermind a recruitment campaign that would go on to create one of the largest volunteer armies ever known in Britain. This design was selected to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War because the poster has come to be strongly associated with the outbreak of the war and is recognised by much of the population. It is intended to highlight the Government propaganda campaign to conscript army volunteers at the start of the war.

Though many posters encouraged the men of Britain to enlist, the image of Kitchener himself has come to stand for the call to fight for King and country that saw men respond in their thousands. It is to this instantly recognisable image that the experienced artist John Bergdahl turned to create his stirring design: ‘Your country needs you!’.

In 2014 this coin marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and was the first coin in a five-year series, on a journey from outbreak to armistice. The coin remembers one of the most significant moments in British history with a design that recalls the spirit, and with hindsight, the poignancy, of the rush to enlist encouraged by Lord Kitchener.


text source and credit the Royal Mint 2014