If Ye break Faith - We shall not Sleep

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM PST 12361
Art and Popular Design
Production date
Place made
Subject period
  • Support: paper
  • Lining: textile
  • medium: lithograph
  • Support: Height 600 mm, Width 882 mm
Alternative names
  • object name: Poster
  • object category: Poster

Purchase & License
Object description

whole: the image covers the majority, with the title integrated and positioned upper left, in black. The text is separate and positioned across the bottom edge, in white against a blue background. image: a Canadian soldier stands in a field of poppies, his head bowed as he looks down at a simple wooden grave cross. He holds his helmet in his left hand and has his rifle over his shoulder. In the background are the ruins of a house. text: 'If ye break faith - we shall not sleep' BUY VICTORY BONDS W.P. 1.


The title of this poster is taken from a poem written by Dr. John McRae (1872-1918), a doctor serving in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. The poem, 'In Flanders Field', concludes with the lines ‘If ye break faith with us who die / We shall not sleep, though poppies grow / In Flanders fields’. It was first published in Punch magazine in 1915 and is recited to this day at Remembrance Day ceremonies in Canada. John McRae died of pneumonia while serving on the Western Front in early 1918.

Physical description

W.P.1. A French language version (with slightly different text) was also produced (see PST 12358). Single sheet, printed on one side only.



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Fair Dealing

All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.