Archibald Hartrick (1864-1950)
On the Railways - Engine and Carriage Cleaners
From Set IX, Women's Work, from the series 'The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals
Issued by the Ministry of Information
Museum no. E.781-1918
Hartrick was a painter, but also a printmaker and illustrator who worked on The Daily Graphic and the Pall Mall Magazine. He trained at the Slade School of Art in London under the French Realist painter Alphonse Legros, in 1884-5, and then continued his art studies in Paris. His style was strongly influenced by French artists.
During the First World War he accepted a number of commissions to produce prints for propaganda purposes, showing Britain's war effort on the home front.
The civilian workforce was severely depleted in the period 1914 to 1918, because so many men had been called up for military service. This meant that women had to take on many occupations that had previously been reserved for men.
Women who worked on the railways made a vital contribution, because the country's economy depended heavily on the efficient functioning of the public transport systems. Many women enjoyed the freedoms and independence that came with these new jobs, but, by agreement with the trades unions, women were to be employed in 'men's work' only until the end of the war.
This print can be found in Print Room Box 6.