The Biography of Captain Bruce Bairnsfather, in Search of the Better ‘Ole

B2174

The authors founded a Battlefield Tours company in 1978. They ran this successful company until some twenty years ago when they sold up to concentrate on writing. Given their experience in guiding visitors around the WWI battlefields of the Western Front, it is perhaps unsurprising that they should write some of the most informative and popular guide books. They have also written about related topics, including an acclaimed series of military biographies. Their biography of Rudyard Kipling’s son John was sensitive and moving, as were their biographies of Poets of the Great War. During this research, writing, and collection of postcards of the period, they came across the fascinating story of Bruce Bairnsfather and this book provides a unique review of his sketches and cartoons. This is an absorbing story and will appeal to a wide range of readers because of the scope of the topics.

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NAME: The Biography of Captain Bruce Bairnsfather, in Search of the Better ‘Ole
DATE: 180315
FILE: R2174
AUTHOR: Major and Mrs Holt
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword,
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 288
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, The Great War, 1914-1918, The Old Contemptibles, The Contemptable Little Army, Mons, fighting retreat, battlefields, monuments, cemeteries, art, cartoons, morale, recognition, Old Bill
ISBN: 1-47382-723-X
IMAGE: B2174.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/o59ldfv
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The authors founded a Battlefield Tours company in 1978. They ran this successful company until some twenty years ago when they sold up to concentrate on writing. Given their experience in guiding visitors around the WWI battlefields of the Western Front, it is perhaps unsurprising that they should write some of the most informative and popular guide books. They have also written about related topics, including an acclaimed series of military biographies. Their biography of Rudyard Kipling’s son John was sensitive and moving, as were their biographies of Poets of the Great War. During this research, writing, and collection of postcards of the period, they came across the fascinating story of Bruce Bairnsfather and this book provides a unique review of his sketches and cartoons. This is an absorbing story and will appeal to a wide range of readers because of the scope of the topics.

The men who stepped forward to fight for their country from 1914 were an extraordinary cross section of British society. Many were so keen to join the fight before it ended, they and their friends and neighbours joined up in large numbers, many of them joining as private soldiers when they could have sought commissions. This was to avoid the delays of selection and training as officers and a number of them were then recommended for commissions as a result of their gallantry and effectiveness under fire. The result was that they also represented a very wide range of skills. It was not uncommon to see them return to some form of art during their service, to amuse themselves and their comrades rather than necessarily to prepare for careers after action. Some were to achieve great acclaim, in several cases posthumously. Others, as in the case of the subject of this book, were to be recognized in many countries and sections of society, but never receive due recognition from the Establishment.

Bairnsfather therefore became known and unknown, when he richly deserved formal honours, acknowledged by his country. The authors have sought to correct this omission and this book firmly stakes his claim.

It is curious that Bairnsfather did not receive the formal acclaim and recognition that others were rewarded with, even for his artistic contribution to raising morale and recording the life of soldiers in WWI and for the USAAF during WWII, when he was appointed Officer Cartoonist to the USAAF. The Establishment and the Imperial War Museum took a snobbish approach to Bairnsfather which is strangely at odds with his achievements.

The authors have told their subjects story with pride and affection. On completion of the book, the reader will feel that here is a talent that deserves the recognition that was denied by his own country in his lifetime. The text is engaging and the high level of illustration with Bairnsfather’s work makes it a delight to read.

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