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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: Onslows/BNPS<br />
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Rare cartoons reveal the rarely seen humourous side of life in the trenches during WW1.<br />
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Cartoons which made light of the First World War in an attempt to boost the morale of troops have emerged for sale 100 years after the outbreak of fighting.<br />
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The humorous sketches, which sent up the British high command and sympathised with squaddies, provided light relief to weary soldiers on the front line.<br />
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They were the handiwork of Bruce Bairnsfather, a soldier who had been hospitalised during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium in 1915.<br />
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Bairnsfather suffered shellshock and damaged hearing and was posted to Salisbury Plain to the headquarters of the 34th Division.<br />
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While there he drew a series of cartoons about a curmudgeonly British Tommy called Old Bill, who sported a trademark walrus moustache and balaclava.<br />
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Bairnsfather drew light-hearted cartoons for The Bystander magazine and went on to produce seven special editions throughout the war called Fragments from France.<br />
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A rare, limited first edition of Bullets and Billets signed by Bairnsfather is tipped to fetch 400 pounds while the complete Fragments from France set is expected to sell for 150 pounds at a sale at Onslows auction house in Blandford, Dorset.<br />
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The are being sold by a collector of World War I memorabilia from Dorset.