Full Details for Lot 99

Main Sale - March 2011

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Sale A1052 Lot 99

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CAPT. BRUCE BAIRNSFATHER
A SET OF THE HUMORIST'S 'FRAGMENTS FROM FRANCE' BOOKS TOGETHER WITH VARIOUS GREAT WAR EPHEMERA,
the set containing volumes 1-5 and volume 7 of The Bystander's famous series of Great War cartoons laced with black humour, the volumes are complete and show rubbing and some foxing commensurate with age, together with a copy of the 'FIELD SERVICE POCKET BOOK' published by the War Office in 1916 and containing within its original binding instruction to officers with regards general conduct, information and practical advice in the field, together with a set of seven maps produced by the M.o.D. to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme; the maps cover the Somme Front as it was on 1st July 1916, including the area around Flers where tanks were first used in the September of that year, each map measures 36in. x 28in. and can be placed in an interlocking arrangement should space allow

Provenance: Captain Charles Bruce Bairnsfather was born to a military family in India on 9th July 1888. He was sent to England to be schooled at the United Services College at Westward Ho! when he was seven. Whilst a military career was anticipated he also showed great promise as an artist and an acquaintance with Sir Thomas Lipton led him to produce sketches for his company's products.

In 1914 he joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and served with a machine gun unit in France until being hospitalised with shell shock, sustained at the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. Once recovered, he was posted to 34th Division headquarters on Salisbury Plain. It was here that he developed his humorous series of cartoons for The Bystander featuring his character 'Old Bill'; a curmudgeonly soldier with trademark walrus moustache and balaclava.

His work continued to grow in popularity in the inter-war period and popular thought suggests that British police became known as 'Old Bill' due to them sharing similar facial hair, as was popular at the time, to the artist's character in The Bystander.
Estimate £100-150




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