Do you remember – and if you don’t here’s a link to remind you – that early last year I showed you some pages from a First World War nurse’s autograph book I had picked up, and promised you that one day I’d show you some more?
Well I still will do one day, but in the meantime, here are some illustrations, including the tank, from a second autograph book from the war years that I have picked up since.
I have yet to research this book – not that there’s much to go on to research – although it belonged to a woman called Pattie Cooper, and it is noticeable that, although there are a number of military illustrations such as the tank in the book, none of the male submitters precede their name with a rank, suggesting that they are not, or perhaps are no longer, military men. Don’t tell me that Syd Bowler, who drew the tank illustration, had never seen a tank in real life – I can’t imagine the papers were full of pictures of tanks in January 1917 when he drew the picture – unless, of course, they were.
Pattie Cooper certainly was not a nurse. I suppose she could have been a munitions worker, as many thousands of women were, although I would have thought all the entries would be by other women if that was the case.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that life went on as normally as possible back at home during the war years.
People still went to work, and maybe Pattie Cooper was an office worker,…
…perhaps leaving to get married.
I don’t suppose we shall ever know, but the book has entries from 1915-1920, and is an interesting social document of the time, showing some wonderful fashions of the war years. And worth owning for the illustration of the British tank alone, in my opinion.
So I have picked most of the illustrations, and just one of the literary entries, and as you don’t see this kind of thing every day, I hope you enjoy them.
The film ‘The Champion’ was released in 1915 and featured Chaplin as a man whose discovery of a lucky horseshoe leads to a boxing match with the world champion. I shall leave you in suspense with regard to the outcome.
Hardly essential viewing, I know, but a sweet little book nonetheless, with one or two excellent illustrations, don’t you think?
And a very nice water-colour, dated 1920, to finish.