First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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World War II

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Art: Paintings and Sketches

Latest hand-picked First World War news.

German soldier's cartoon paintings of life on the First World War frontline unearthed
A collection of cartoon paintings of German soldiers on the Western Front has been discovered - and shows a little-known humourous side to the Kaiser's war machine. The images were drawn 1914-1916 at the Somme and were for a senior German officer with a sense of humour. The caricatures poke fun at the officer class and a strange recurring theme is the supplying of toilet rolls to soldiers. The 80 coloured pictures are in pen, ink and gauche and were drawn by German artist Albert Heim. He was commissioned by Lieutenant General Theodor von Wundt of the 26th Division, who appears in at least one of them.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War by Harry Ricketts
"Strange Meetings" is a collective biography of several First World War poets, tracing their lives and deaths plus their poetry, careers and reputations --- and random meetings during the war.
(nzherald.co.nz)

WW1 tank operator's diary, with amazing paintings and drawings, discovered (photos)
A diary offering an insight into the life of the 1/21 Battn London Regt Tank Corps has been discovered. Lieutenant Kenneth Wootton's 120-page diary, which includes amazing sketches and paintings, brings to life the major WWI battles, and even includes detailed ink drawings of tanks and battle movements. Wootton, who was granted the MC for gallantry and devotion to duty, kept a diary 1915-1917, even describing the Christmas truce between the British and German soldiers in 1916. The historic document, which will be auctioned off, emerged after Wootton's great granddaughter inherited a collection of old books.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Huge First World War oil painting - The Rearguard (The spirit of ANZAC) - for sale
A painting inspired by the psychic spirits of dead soldiers and purchased by the grieving Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who lost a son in the First World War, will be auctioned off as part of the Owston Collection in Sydney on June 25-26. The painting, by Official War Artist William Francis Longstaff, is titled "The Rearguard (The spirit of ANZAC)". The iconic painting - thought missing until now - presents a ghostly array of soldiers lining up near the beach at Gallipoli in the bleak dawn, with departing transports and warships barely visible on the misty horizon.
(paulfrasercollectibles.com)

"The Western Front" book re-published with unseen First World War sketches
Drawings by Sir Muirhead Bone were published in newspapers to improve morale at the homefront and in a book called "The Western Front" in 1916. The sketches include a dying soldier, a knocked out tank and stretcher bearers carrying the wounded from battle. Some of the images revealed the horrors of war, and were censored and categorized as too demoralizing in the light of the need for new recruits. The unseen images show the wartime reality, says Tim Barlass, publisher of The Western Front's new version.
(oneindia.in)

SikhMuseum.com online exhibit: paintings and drawings of First World War Sikh soldiers
As Sikhs began appearing on the WW1 battlefields, for many it marked the first time that they had ever seen a Sikh in real life. The appearance of the Sikhs yielded curiosity about these exotic looking turbaned warriors. Paintings and drawings of Sikhs by artists, scenes of camp and trench life and front-line action, helped to fulfil the public's curiosity. This online exhibit at SikhMuseum.com has a unique collection of paintings and drawings of Sikh soldiers from the First World War.
(sikhnn.com)

No man's land sketches by WW1 artist who sneaked behind enemy lines to gather intelligence
Len Smith's deadliest weapons in World War One were his pencil and his pad. In the days before satellite surveillance provided detailed pictures, Private Smith would sneak behind enemy lines - and draw. His sketches were so accurate they could id precise enemy numbers, the type of weapons and the geography of the land. One of Private Smith's noteworthy missions included making a sketch of German positions at Vimy Ridge. He spent 4 days in the middle of mortar shells while drawing the panoramic section of enemy troop positions. His story has been exposed in book: "The Pictures and Diary of a Wartime Artist."
(dailymail.co.uk)

War: The Prints of Otto Dix is at the National Gallery of Victoria
Feelings ran high against the exhibition of 51 drawings and etchings by Otto Dix, a German artist/soldier. "In Adelaide, there were even some attempts to damage the prints," said one attendant. This is an exhibition that evokes strong reactions with its confronting depictions of the realities of war on the Western Front during the First World War. "Mealtime in the Trenches" shows a soldier swallowing a meal indifferent to the human skeleton trapped in the frozen landscape beside him. "The Sleepers of Fort Vaux" offers images of corpses ripped apart by bullets and bombs, dying soldiers and the victims of poison gas.
(eurekastreet.com.au)

Anzac icon under the hammer - Simpson and his Donkey painting
One of the Anzac history's most honoured icons - the "Simpson and his Donkey" painting - will be auctioned. Painted by New Zealand sapper Horace Moore-Jones it shows John Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey carrying a wounded man down to the beach at Gallipoli. Moore-Jones painted at least 5 pictures of Simpson - a heroic figure for braving Turkish fire at Gallipoli rescuing wounded men - and his donkey and the one to be auctioned at Webb's in Auckland has been in a family for generations. It was given to them by Moore-Jones himself. Webbs fine art head Emma Fox told it was a "spine-chilling" work.
(stuff)

Artists' Views of First World War on display in Block Museum
A new exhibit on World War 1 art at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art reveals the experiences of war from the artist's angle. "From the Trenches to the Street: Art from Germany, 1910s-1920s" shows a variety of German works, including paintings and etchings, and combines the patriotic imagery of the war's early years with the violent works of protest that came later. Corinne Granoff began planning the exhibit in the spring of 2006 as a collection of post-WWI German art, but it became a chance to examine how artists view war. Much of the exhibit is devoted to military and battlefield imagery featuring trenches, corpses and the wounded.
(dailynorthwestern)

World War One Sketchbook from 1917-1918 trenches
The images presented on this site are from a set of two World War 1 sketchbooks archived in the University of Victoria's Special Collections Library. They contain 130 water-colour and pen and ink images which were produced by a British soldier based in France and Belgium 1917-1918. Artist was a member of the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery (the regimental crest and motto appear at the top of the page) and he was based in France and Belgium (around Ypres and Menin) between 1917-1918.
(uvic)

First world war war-time trench art   (Article no longer available from the original source)
"Trench art" refers to objects or mementos made by soldiers or POWs during World War 1. Objects used to make trench art were artillery shell fragments, helmets and military uniform buttons. Wood from airplane propellers was used to carve clocks and picture frames. Items like matchbox covers, cigarette cases and lighters were bought by the POWs captors. Usually trench art pieces bear no maker`s mark. The Rosenberg Library is showing trench art in its collection, like a model submarine made from shell cartridges, a letter opener decorated with a copper German coin pfennig and an ashtray featuring a miniature Prussian helmet called a pickelhaube.
(galvestondailynews)

World War I battlefield Somme crosses reunited in display
Three wooden crosses erected at the Somme in memory of County Durham soldiers have been reunited. In 1916 the memorials were placed on the ancient burial mound which overlooks the World War I battlefield in France. Ten years later they were given to three County Durham churches. they have been brought together at Durham Light Infantry Museum and Durham Art Gallery for exhibition called The Somme Remembered, marking the 90th anniversary of the battle including trench maps, sketches and original letters, runs until Sunday 16 July.
(bbc)

Painting and drawing combat - Britain's bloodiest battle   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Amid the carnage of the Battle of the Somme, a handful of British soldiers were on a mission as new as the warfare they were witnessing: they were painting and drawing combat. An exhibition will open commemorating the 1916 battle, which claimed 310,000 lives and left more than a million wounded. The First World War battle was the first in which officially-sanctioned artists were sent by the UK to record a campaign. The Battle of the Somme brought home for the first time the full horror of mechanised warfare and the lethal power of the machine-gun. The opening day was the bloodiest in the history of the British Army, claiming 19,240 lives.
(independent)

Cartoon by Old Bill creator is found in an old box at museum
A long lost cartoon by an artist, whose work raised the morale of troops during the Great War, has been discovered by chance in a Scottish museum. The work by Bruce Bairnsfather, the creator of the cartoon character Old Bill, was found by a curator in an old box at Dunfermline Museum. The picture depicts a soldier in an embrace with a girl. Both of them are wearing anti-gas goggles. It was published in London in Bystander magazine on December 4, 1918, and later in a book called Fragments from France. The picture, a monochrome watercolour, went missing after it was sold at an exhibition of the cartoonist's work in 1919.
(telegraph.co.uk)