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. 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 we mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with the first coin in a five-year series that will take us on a journey from outbreak to armistice. Whether you wish to honour those who played their part, have an interest in military history or just want to learn more about such a significant time in British history, you will want to secure the Outbreak 2014 UK £2 Gold Proof Coin. This £2 coin is available now housed in a Royal Mint display case, complete with an informative booklet that brings its iconic design to life. A Certificate of Authenticity attests to its provenance.
This moving coin was designed by John Bergdahl, creator of the coins struck to celebrate the christening of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. For the designer, Kitchener’s image perfectly reflected the sense of optimism that was shared in those first days of war, an optimism that today can also be viewed with sadness.
Your coin’s edge inscription reads, ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe,’ recalling the words of Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey on the eve of war. Although no veteran who lived through the First World War is here today to receive the thanks of a grateful nation, a full century Britain remembers, and marks, this important anniversary. The official UK £2 coin is a reminder of those young men who answered Kitchener’s call to arms – a tribute to Kitchener’s Army, to the ‘Pals Battalions’, and to those who were left behind to fight and to endure on the Home Front.