Caffyn: Come Along Boys 1914.


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Caffyn Come Along Boys 1914. The British encouraged men to enlist with their friends from the same town in a program called PALS. This sometimes resulted in the death of virtually all the males in a single town.  Nevertheless, morale was high early in the war. “The moment the order came to go forward there were smiling faces everywhere” the mark of a very early recruiting poster.  Pipe smoking Tommy strolls cheerfully along. 30×20 near mint, conservation backed. 

Bibliography: John R. Johnson in his forthcoming definitive book Your King and Country Need You writes as follows:

Perhaps the clearest articulation of the theme of “cheerful camaraderie” in an early product of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee is W. H. Caffyn’s Come Along, Boys!  A smiling recruit jauntily marches along with cap cocked and pipe protruding from his mouth.  He casually holds the butt of his rifle in his right hand, while resting the barrel on his shoulder.  On his chest, he sports a tricolor ribbon indicative of the World War I service medal, the so-called “1914 or Mons star.  Its red, white, and blue coloring reflect the patriotic palette of both the French tricolor and the United Kingdom’s Flag of Union (and of Empire!).  The lone figure is set against the poster paper without further color or elaboration except for a hint of blue sky that surrounds his head like a faint cloud and for the grayish-brown shadow that his body casts on the ground.