Thursday, March 17, 2011

Salute the Soldier Week campaign, 1944

A commemorative 'Salute the Soldier Week' plaque
(The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, Cumbria)

For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

(1) The 'Salute the Soldier Week' commemorative plaque

The wording on the 'Salute the Soldier Week' plaque reads as follows:


War Savings Campaign 1944
Presented by the War Office
in recognition of
successful achievement in

(2) Community campaign weeks during WW2

"The People's War" is a term that has been applied to the Home Front in Britain during the Second World War. One key feature of this "People's War" that reached out to every community in Britain was the War Savings Campaign. This was run by Sir Robert Kindersley on behalf of the British Government, mainly as an extension of the National Savings Movement which he had led before the war.

Savings groups were organised in each local community throughout the country. On the one hand the War Savings Campaign encouraged thrift at an individual level and on the other hand brought together the community by fund raising for large-scale campaigns such as the 'Spitfire Fund' (1940), 'War Weapons Week' (1941), 'Warship Weeks' (1941 / 1942), 'Wings For Victory Week' (1943) and 'Salute the Soldier Week' (1944).

The pattern of these campaign weeks involved a community being set a large monetary target. Ostensibly, the idea was to save a sufficient amount of money to support the airman, sailor or soldier have the means to win the war. During the campaign week, the organising committee arranged events in support of the campaign, which might include meetings about the war, speeches by decorated war heroes and visits by Government ministers or royalty. Generally speaking, each community met or surpassed its target by a combination of individual saving groups, insurance companies and local banks or other financial institutions.

The campaign week was also supported by the local newspaper for each community. Overall, these campaigns tended to bring together the local community and the service man or woman. Everyone was united in their intention of winning the war.

Some weeks or months after the campaign week, each community received a commemorative plaque similar to the one for 'Salute the Soldier Week' seen in the photograph above. The commemorative plaques for the other campaigns, such as 'Warship Week' or Wings For Victory Week', are of a similar design. Usually they were placed in place of honour, such as at the Town Hall or local museum. Some, like the one in the photograph, have survived into the modern era and are still on display. They remain a silent if unobtrusive reminder of the times when commuinites united as one in standing up to Adolph Hitler and Nazi tyranny during the "People's War" between 1939 and 1945.

Friday, 18 March, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi i know this post may be a little late now but i knew the chap who posed for the "Salute the solider" poster/plaque. The chapps Name was Jack Askham but saddly died in Febuary 2010. I would love to see or buy a copy of an original poster as i cant seem to find one. You can contact me on

Thursday, 11 October, 2012  

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