The first in a 5-coin series remembering the First World War, the 2014 £2 coin reflects the outbreak of war, when the country’s concern was gathering a large enough army to fight in the war. Conscription wasn’t used until 1916, so initially, the British Army relied on volunteers.
Lord Kitchener was tasked with this recruitment, and the 2.5 million men who signed up voluntarily became known as Kitchener’s Army. The iconic poster of him pointing at the viewer from any direction would have influenced many men, but was not mass produced – there were many variations of recruitment posters. This one however, has been reproduced hundreds of times since the war and so today is linked intrinsically to the start of the First World War.
The 2014 First World War £2 coin, designed by John Bergdahl, features Kitchener pointing, and the tagline – Your Country Needs You – on the reverse. Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of the queen is used on the obverse (4th portrait).