A better 'ole . . .?

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browerpatch
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Perhaps I'm missing something. During the observances of the centennial of WW1, I haven't seen any use of Bruce Bairnsfather's work. I'm a little surprised at this, and wondered why?
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"If you knows of a better 'ole - - - go to it!"


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Pat Holscher
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browerpatch wrote: Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:32 pm Perhaps I'm missing something. During the observances of the centennial of WW1, I haven't seen any use of Bruce Bairnsfather's work. I'm a little surprised at this, and wondered why?

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"If you knows of a better 'ole - - - go to it!"
I don't think he's well known in the US. I have seen some use of his artwork on English sites however.
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Something I didn't realize about him:
From 1942 to 1944 he was officially attached to the American Forces in Europe, firstly with the American Army in Northern Ireland, and then the USAF at Chelveston in the UK, where he was based from 1943 to 1944.
I've sometimes wondered what he thought of Mauldin's cartoons. There's some real similarities between the cartoons of the two men.
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And more I didn't realize:
In World War II, he continued Old Bill work, but was not asked to help with the British war effort. Instead, he became official cartoonist to the American forces in Europe, contributing to Stars and Stripes and Yank, whilst residing at Cresswell House in Clun, Shropshire. He also drew cartoons at American bases and nose art on aircraft. His works are considered to have influenced artists such as Bill Mauldin.
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Looking into him a bit, a person almost gets a bit of a sense that there was a degree of subtle disapproval of his works (very definite disapproval at first) that was similar to that which was felt in some quarter about Mauldin. He enjoyed post war notoriety until his death, and was the first British cartoonist to appear on television, but he was assigned to the US effort by the British during World War Two, which is odd. At least as of 2011 the Imperial War Museum had never put on an exhibition of his works in spite of repeated popular requests to do so.

There's been quite a bit of focus on him in the UK, apparently, given the centennial of World War One, but I wonder if a bit of the old feelings might linger on.

What do those of you in the UK think?
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As is probably obvious, I like his cartoons so I've posted an entire series of short replies here.

The caption for this thread, "A Better 'ole", is from one of his most famous cartoons. It's great, and very much like a similar Mauldin cartoon from World War Two (or perhaps more than one similar cartoons). One I really like, however, is called "The growth of democracy", and has the caption :"Colonel Sir Valtravers Plantagenet gladly accepts a light, during a slight lull in a barrage, from a private in the Benin Rifles".

It's in the public domain and I'd be tempted to post it, but some passing by might take offense at the depictions as Bairnsfeather wasn't used to drawing black soldiers and therefore drew a somewhat stereotypical depiction. The caption, however, is quite subversive in that Col. Plantagenet is accepting a light from the tip of a cigarette from the Benin private, who is calmly sharing a foxhole with him.
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