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Simon Parke: Following instructions

IT WAS THE “Keep Calm and Carry On” Alternative Christmas Fayre — and we did, Captain Mainwaring. Don’t panic!

In the spring of 1939, when war with Germany loomed, the British Government’s Ministry of Informa­tion commissioned a series of posters to be distributed throughout the country at the commencement of hostilities. They were a message from the King to reassure and embolden flagging spirits.

The design was simple: beneath the King’s crown were words in a ...

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