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Your Country Needs You / Metropolitan Police Whistle Keyring

£3.75 £6.95

This attractive (and functional) brass finish trench whistle keyring harks back to the years, and spirit, of the First World War when "Your Country Needs You" was on everyone’s lips.

Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.7 x 13.5cm


The Great War, known variously as the First World War, World War I, WWI and WW1 was arguably the first modern industrialised conflict and certainly one of the largest ever wars. Originating in Europe, it was global in scale and lasted over four years (28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918) and over 70 million people fought. Over 16 million died as a result, largely because of the technological and industrial development of the parties involved, and the stalemate caused by gruelling trench warfare. It paved the way for major political changes, including several national revolutions.


Lord Horatio Kitchener was the Secretary of State for War in 1914, at the outbreak of World War 1. On his recommendation a volunteer (initially) army was created with the intention that it could be put into action by 1917, though its use was required long before that, in 1915. This New Army was also referred to as Kitchener’s Army or Kitchener’s Mob (pejoratively). An iconic advert and recruitment poster from 1914 (by Alfred Leete) became one of the most enduring reminders of the period – in it, a drawing of Lord Kitchener wearing a British Field Marshal’s cap appears above the words “WANTS YOU”.


The first London Metropolitan Police linear whistle was created by Joseph Hudson to replace the previously used (and inadequate) rattle. A small pellet inside the whistle creates a warble and the whistle can be heard over a mile away. J Hudson & Co of Birmingham still makes whistles as Acme Whistles, the world’s largest and most famous whistle maker.

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