Notes of the Week (Editorial against Man or Mouse Poster)
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In the meantime recruiting is progressing fairly briskly, and it seems that Lord Kitchener will easily raise half a million men – or more – if he needs them. And he says he does need them. But such posters as that now on the hoardings, bearing Lord Lonsdale’s name, will not do any good. To ask “Are you a man or mouse?” will, I fancy, be taken as an insult by most men.There are many good men – and quite as loyal as Lord Lonsdale – who, for various reasons – cowardice not being one of them – cannot see their way to joining the Colours just now; but that is no reason they should be called mice. No doubt the poster was issued with a good intention; but – well – we are told that a certain main road is paved with good intentions. My own opinion is that the poster ought to be looked upon as a specimen of zeal over-running discretion; but I know a good many men who don’t take that view of it.
—Workington Star and Harrington Guardian, Published 11 September, 1914.