First World War Collection

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The McLean Museum has one of the most extensive collections of First World War Posters in Scotland.

Each Recruit Brings Peace Nearer
Each Recruit Brings Peace Nearer - 1915 - Parliamentary Recruiting Committee
Copyright McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock.

This unique collection was created by Thomas Thomson (1856-1935) who served as Treasurer of the Museum from 1902 until shortly before his death. During the course of the war he started to seek out First World War propaganda and other material. Collected contemporaneously with the war, it includes many rare and unusual items which Thomson acquired through contacting High Commissions and writing directly abroad requesting posters etc. Thus the collection not only includes British material but also items from France, Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Portugal and even Greece and India.

The collection is enhanced by a large collection of proclamations issued by the German occupation authorities in Belgium which provide insight into the lives of an occupied people. In addition to this there are soldiers' postcards from the front and objects such as medals and other memorabilia of the war. In total the collection provides a unique resource for those wishing to research the war.

If you have a question concerning this collection please contact the Museum at

See thousands of images and records from the collections of the McLean Museum and Inverclyde Archives on our Collections Online website.
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