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2014 100th Anniversary of the First World War £2

To mark, and to remember, the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War

Anniversary of the First World War - Outbreak

Specifications
Issued 2014
Diameter 28.4mm
Weight 12.0g
Thickness 2.5 mm
Composition

Outer:  Nickel-Brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
Inner:  Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)

Obverse Designers Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Reverse Designer John Bergdahl
Edge Milled
Edge Inscription  The lamps are going out all over Europe
Mintage 5,720,000

About This Design

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. 

History Of The £2

The first base metal £2 coin was issued in the United Kingdom in 1986 to commemorate the Thirteenth Commonwealth Games which that year were held in Scotland. Commemorative £2 coins continued to be issued in single colour nickel-brass for special occasions. After a review of the United Kingdom coinage in 1994, it emerged that there was a requirement for a general circulation £2 coin. A consultation process took place with the vending machine industry, members of the public and special interest groups such as the RNIB and Age Concern. The consensus of opinion from the consultation favoured a bi-colour coin because it would be easily distinguishable from the other coins in circulation. The bi-metallic £2 coin was eventually launched on 15 June 1998 and millions were released into circulation.

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