ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE TROOPS.

Captain Bruce Bairnsfather (9 July 1887 – 29 September 1959) His best-known cartoon character is Old Bill. Bill and his pals Bert and Alf featured in Bairnsfather's weekly "Fragments from France" cartoons published weekly in "The Bystander" magazine during the First World WarIn 1914 he joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and served with a machine gun unit in France until 1915, when he was hospitalised with shell shock and hearing damage sustained during the Second Battle of Ypres. Posted to the 34th Divisionheadquarters on Salisbury Plain, he developed his humorous series for the Bystander about life in the trenches, featuring "Old Bill", a soldier with trademark walrus moustache and balaclava. The best remembered of these shows Bill with another trooper in a muddy shell hole with shells whizzing all around. The other trooper is grumbling and Bill advises
‘If you know of a better ‘ole go to it’.
Many of his cartoons from this period were collected in Fragments From France (1914) and the autobiographical Bullets & Billets (1916).Despite the immense popularity with the troops and massive sales increase for the Bystander, initially there were objections to the "vulgar caricature". Nevertheless, their success in raising morale led to Bairnsfather's promotion and receipt of a War Office appointment to draw similar cartoons for other Allies forces.

Taking over from Old Bill in WW11 The Two Types by Jon. Not in good condition faded and the mice have been at it but what makes this one more interesting is that it is signed and dated by the original owner.


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