Miss Pattie Cooper’s Autograph Book

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.

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11 Responses to Miss Pattie Cooper’s Autograph Book

  1. Carole Wade says:

    A beautiful collection of drawings. Just love them.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Aren’t they just. Glad you got to see them and hope you clicked the link at the start of the post for the other autograph book – although I have yet to publish the best bits from that one.

  2. Sid from Down Under says:

    Exquisite – I opened your post twice but the first 2 pictures under the tank then last 8 won’t open (just an X in a small box). Hopefully the glitch will correct itself so I can enjoy all the wonderful glimpse into that era. I had a smile at the “I don’t think much of the weather ….” and comparing the beautiful innocence compared to today’s 102 years later frenzy. Oh for those less complex times!

    • Sid from Down Under says:

      The missing images “came good” after “Posting” – wunderbar …….

      • Magicfingers says:

        Ah, patience Sid. The illustrations are rather wonderful, aren’t they. I wonder who will be the first to find the brilliant drawing of the tank on another website somewhere?

  3. Liz Tobin says:

    I’ve shared this to my on line friends tracing lives of Nursing Sisters in WWI.

  4. Magicfingers says:

    Thanks Liz, although I will be surprised if she turns out to be a nurse. Have you asked your friends about Nurse Jessie Morton, who owned the other autograph book (link at beginning of post)? I have a copy of her VAD card and I know the hospitals (and dates) she served in, but that’s about it.

  5. Epsomgirl says:

    Beautiful! I have something similar which has entries dated 1942-43 and belonged to my mother.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Glad you enjoyed them. My mother had never ever been away from home (Bexleyheath) when World War II broke out. Within months she was a WREN up on Clydeside; what a first trip away from home that must have been.

  6. Marg Draycott says:

    How wonderful to have that and in such good condition.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Isn’t it just? Do check out the link at the beginning of the post, although I have yet to show the best bits of the other such book I own, but I did post quite a few of the soldiers’ poems. You’ll like it.

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