Skip to main content
Thumbnail for 'In aid of King George's Fund for Sailors'

(1) Front cover - In aid of King George's Fund for Sailors [ID: 74461233]

Cover illustration by W. Smithson Broadhead. This painting from the cover of 'Sea-Pie' magazine depicts a woman in a bathing costume standing on a beach in front of a picnic basket. This is fairly typical of 'Sea-Pie' cover artwork. Issues commonly featured either a painting of an attractive cover girl, something relating to the sea or, as in this case, a combination of the two. The painter, W. Smithson Broadhead, was a successful commercial artist who went on to design railway posters. The proceeds from this edition of 'Sea-Pie' were donated to King George's Fund for Sailors (KGFS). KGFS was founded in March 1917, its main object to provide help, comfort and relief for seafarers and their dependants through the establishment of a central fund. The charity is still in operation today.

Artist: Broadhead, W. Smithson, 1888-1960

Thumbnail for 'Order of the boot'

(2) Page 4 - Order of the boot [ID: 74458440]

Advertisement for 'Nugget' boot polish. This advertisement features a cartoon depicting the Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany being kicked across the Rhine by a foot wearing a highly-polished boot. The text of the advertisement reads: 'The Order of the Boot. / The "stuff" that makes 'em "Smart"! / "NUGGET" BOOT POLISH' The Allied victory in World War I provided the designers of advertisements with great material. The triumphal tone of this example is supposed to be humorous, but it reflects a genuine national feeling after World War I that Germany had to be taught a lesson. This widely held attitude contributed to the Allies demanding dangerously high reparations from Germany at Versailles in 1919.

Thumbnail for 'Red Tape rhymes'

(3) Page 7 - Red Tape rhymes [ID: 74458443]

Advertisement for 'Red Tape' whisky. This advertisement for 'Red Tape' whisky depicts a kilted soldier returning from the war, and contains a short Scots verse which runs: 'The warl's at peace, the fechtin's owre. / The sodger's hame again, O; / In guid 'Red Tape' we'll pledge the lad / Wi' a' oor micht an' main, O!' The marketing of 'Red Tape' whisky in this advertisement combines two familiar heroic images. The first, the soldier returning home, would have been particularly powerful in this period immediately after the end of World War I. The second image, that of the Highland warrior, had been a popular romantic convention since the novels of Sir Walter Scott became international bestsellers in the early nineteenth century.

Thumbnail for 'Nurse, they tell me that in my delirium I stole a kiss --- don't you think I'd better pay it back'

(4) Page 71 - Nurse, they tell me that in my delirium I stole a kiss --- don't you think I'd better pay it back [ID: 74462788]

Jack (on leaving hospital)' by Daphne Hill. This cartoon shows a sailor in uniform talking to a nurse while two other men look on. The caption reads: 'JACK (on leaving hospital): "NURSE, THEY TELL ME THAT IN MY DELIRIUM I STOLE A KISS - DON'T YOU THINK I'D BETTER STEAL IT BACK?"' The media and advertising industries heavily promoted the image of returning British servicemen as national heroes, and this is reflected in many of the cartoons and advertisements of the immediate post-war period. This example is fairly typical. The sailor is deliberately cheeky, but in a manner that is intended to appear charming and dashing. The expression given to the nurse suggests that she is amused by, and probably attracted to, the sailor.

Illustrator: Hill, Daphne, illustrator

Thumbnail for 'And when the enemy start firing, I suppose you all go down into the dugouts'

(5) Page 74 - And when the enemy start firing, I suppose you all go down into the dugouts [ID: 74465730]

Girl (to naval officer)' by Tom Cottrell. This cartoon depicts an attractive young woman sitting on an ottoman, speaking to a naval officer in uniform. The caption reads: 'THE GIRL (to Naval Officer): "AND WHEN THE ENEMY START FIRING, I SUPPOSE YOU ALL GO DOWN TO INTO THE DUGOUTS?" ' The joke here appears to be that the young woman pictured is ignorant of the differences between the army and the navy. The implication that glamorous women are vacuous and only serve a purpose as playthings for men, recurs quite frequently in cartoons from this period. The fact that women provided the economic backbone of Britain during the war, as well as serving in overseas regiment, did not affect some chauvanistic attitudes.

Illustrator: Cottrell, Tom, 1890-1969

Thumbnail for 'Blime, that's copped 'im''

(6) Page 79 - Blime, that's copped 'im' [ID: 74458890]

Blime, that's copped 'im' by Bert Thomas. This cartoon shows a naval gunner firing his weapon while a friend looks on. The caption reads: 'GUNNER: "BLIME, THAT'S COPPED 'IM. I 'OPE THEY'LL GO TO 'ELL!" / PAL: "DON'T SAY THAT, CHARLIE. YER DON'T WANT TER MEET 'EM AGAIN, SURELY?"' Herbert Samuel (Bert) Thomas (1883 - 1966) was one of the most celebrated British cartoonists of World War I. This was thanks largely to the huge popularity of his cartoon ' 'Arf a mo' Kaiser', which was used to raise funds for tobacco for front line soldiers. The cartoons of Bert Thomas featured in many magazines, including 'Punch', and in later life he had several books of cartoons published.

Illustrator: Thomas, Bert, 1883-1966

Thumbnail for 'There is some wonderful modern painting in Brussels'

(7) Page 99 - There is some wonderful modern painting in Brussels [ID: 74462004]

By W.H. Hutchings, this cartoon shows a soldier sitting in a café opposite a glamorous woman who is applying her make-up. The caption reads: '(Extract from letter home.) - THERE IS SOME WONDERFUL MODERN PAINTING IN BRUSSELS.' Both the positive and negative stereotypes about continental Europe that existed in Britain during the war are used to make this cartoon work. Brussels is acknowledged as a place that is famous for its art galleries, but it is also implied that continental women are more accommodating than their British counterparts. The cartoon jokes about how British servicemen spent their leave during the war, but this must have been a genuine, additional concern for some of the families left at home.

Illustrator: Hutchings, W.H.