Volume Six of the series of popular WW1 cartoon books created by Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather.
Toronto: William Briggs
London: The Bystander
Copyright 1918 by The Press Publishing Co.
Copyright 1918 G.P. Putnam's Sons
40 pages + covers
Front cover is beaten up and detached from rest of book, no back cover. Small folds bottom right of some pages. Small browning spot on title page.
29,5 x 20 cm.
Captain (Charles) Bruce Bairnsfather (1887 – 1959) was a prominent British humorist and cartoonist. 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 War.
In 1914 he joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as a second lieutenant and served with a machine gun unit in France until 1915, when he was hospitalised with shellshock and hearing damage sustained during the Second Battle of Ypres. He developed his humorous series for the Bystander about life in the trenches, featuring "Old Bill", a curmudgeonly soldier with trademark walrus moustache and balaclava.
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.