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Originally posted on The Library Time Machine.

You may not have heard of the artist John Hassall. But you’ve almost certainly seen his most famous work, the Jolly Fisherman. (You know the one: “Skegness – it’s so bracing”). You may have even have seen his other famous advertising creation, the Kodak Girl.

But have you seen this?

Oddly modern for a WW1 recruitment poster it has the intensity of a panel in a comic, demonstrating Hassall’s ability to create a striking graphic image. Hassall lived in Kensington and was probably known to Sir William Davison, the Mayor of Kensington during the Great War who may have…

via John Hassall: the poster man | The Library Time Machine.

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Sinking beneath the waves as I try to catch up. I hope you enjoy the reposting of Those Were the Days,
Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah

First Night Design

The CaféŽ Royal, London by William Orpen (1912) © First Night Vintage—Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

The Café Ž Royal, London by William Orpen (1912) © First Night Vintage—Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

There were many disadvantages to living in the early years of the 20th century, not least the coming of the ‘War to End All Wars’, which was anything but. Nevertheless, I can’t help dreaming of swanning around in an Edwardian frock or a Twenties flapper dress and the wherewithal to enjoy the delights of London theatre, fine dining and exquisite conversation. My recent post, Café Royal Rose, set me on a journey. But before I could do but a soupçon of research, I was stopped short by finding a copy of William Orpen’s painting on Wikimedia.

I could not pass by without downloading it and working magic with my resizing software (OnOne) to be able to sell it on First Night Vintage. I don’t think any regular followers will be…

View original post 256 more words


Captain Norman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon

‘Five foot ten of a beautiful young Englishman under French soil. Never a joke, never a look, never a word more to add to my store of memories. The book is shut up forever and as the years pass I shall remember less and less, till he becomes a vague personality; a stereotyped photograph.’

Poor Norman.

Such a commonplace death.  Shot by a single sniper. Youngest child, only son.  Three sisters and a father left to grieve along with so many other fathers, mothers, sisters…

Continue reading: Great Uncle Norman: ‘shot by a single sniper’ | First Night Design.


The CaféŽ Royal, London by William Orpen (1912) © First Night Vintage—Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

The Café Ž Royal, London by William Orpen (1912) © First Night Vintage—Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

There were many disadvantages to living in the early years of the 20th century, not least the coming of the ‘War to End All Wars’, which was anything but. Nevertheless, I can’t help dreaming of swanning around in an Edwardian frock or a Twenties flapper dress and the wherewithal to enjoy the delights of London theatre, fine dining and exquisite conversation. My recent post, Café Royal Rose, set me on a journey. But before I could do but a soupçon of research, I was stopped short by finding a copy of William Orpen’s painting on Wikimedia.

I could not pass by without downloading it and working magic with my resizing software (OnOne) to be able to sell it on First Night Vintage. I don’t think any regular followers will be in the least surprised!

The Café’s official site states that in ‘1863, a French wine merchant called Daniel Nicholas Thévenon and his wife Celestine arrived in England in a bid to escape the clutches of creditors in Paris’.

Cafe Royal in 2008 before its recent refurbishment [Wikimedia}
Cafe Royal in 2008 before its refurbishment [Wikimedia]

Those creditors’ losses were London’s gain for the couple created a fine establishment that acquired an enviable reputation with a wine cellar admired the world over and which introduced London to French cuisineCafé Royal’s survival to this day is proof of its legendary status.

Augustus John on board ship [Wikimedia]
Augustus John on board ship [Wikimedia]

Oh, the joy I would have had mixing with the likes of Augustus John (‘The King of Bohemia’) or D H Lawrence, Virginia Woolf or Noël Coward, or even Walter Sickert — very heaven.  Earlier still and I might have been able to dine on the wit of Oscar Wilde. That is, of course, if any of them had been gracious enough to include me in their gatherings. Reputation suggests that Augustus John would have taken me to his bosom and possibly literally! My mother nearly had one such encounter.  In her memoir, she writes about her disappointment at my grandmother’s refusal to let her sit for the artist as he had requested.

Walter Sickert by George Beresford in 1911 [Wikimedia]
Walter Sickert by George Beresford in 1911 [Wikimedia]

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This charming vintage bride comes from The Old Design Shop and is the cover of a 1915 Easter edition of the American periodical, Pictorial Review.  The Great War (WWI) was being waged in Europe at the time and the United States, many of whose citizens were firmly on the side of neutrality, had yet to join.  American feelings about the war were encapsulated by the popular song, also from 1915, I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier, with lyrics by Alfred Bryan, music by Al Piantadosi and sung by Ed Morton. This sheet music cover comes from Wikipedia.


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Related articles


‘Five foot ten of a beautiful young Englishman under French soil. Never a joke, never a look, never a word more to add to my store of memories. The book is shut up forever and as the years pass I shall remember less and less, till he becomes a vague personality; a stereotyped photograph.’

Captain Noman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon

Captain Norman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon

Poor Norman.

Such a commonplace death.  Shot by a single sniper. Youngest child, only son.  Three sisters and a father left to grieve along with so many other fathers, mothers, sisters, wives, brothers, children.

“Poor Norman,” said my grandmother Joyce in the 1950s, and turned away so that her youngest son changed the subject.  Was she still, so many, many years later, too saddened by her brother’s death to talk or had he, for her, become nothing but a stereotyped photograph about whom she felt unable to talk?

A stereotyped photograph.  I have two in my possession, both of Norman in Army uniform. The round, boyish face of inexperience looks at me in the one [above]: a bland, almost formal, expression gives way to a makeshift confidence on closer inspection and, with arms folded, suggests a reluctance to be photographed.

In the other [below], he leans against a pillar with engaging insouciance; a cigarette holder, the ash about to drop, rests between sturdy fingers.  Three or four years, maybe less, separate the pictures. The poise in the latter cannot mask the face of a man who has experienced the muck and the noise, the unutterable panic and horror of trench warfare.

Captain Noman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon

Captain Noman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon

‘He was hit at four o’clock on the morning of 24th March 1918,’ wrote Joyce the following year.  ‘I felt that icy hand on my heart which I shall never now feel again.’   When I first read my grandmother’s words, I took her to mean that only her brother’s death could produce such an icy hand.  I look at the words now and see only that she felt her heart would never feel anything again.  Perhaps that is why she turned away from her son.

We will remember them.

Captain Norman Austin Taylor 1895-1918

@ALBerridge I thought you might enjoy this post about my great-uncle during #WWI http://t.co/p8CYYU8nRz

— First Night Design (@FirstNightArt) May 15, 2014

@FirstNightArt That’s beautifully written and very moving. No high drama, just the reality of human loss in a war. Great post – thank you.

— Louise Berridge (@ALBerridge) May 15, 2014

@ALBerridge I’m so glad you like it.

— First Night Design (@FirstNightArt) May 15, 2014

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Fascinating. I’ve read many books on WWI but I don’t think I knew all the terms or their provenance detailed in this article from The Bright Old Oak. Enjoy!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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