ANAVETS Shoulder to Shoulder

November 2017

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With another war imminent he found himself in great demand. From 1938-42 he contributed to The Bystander, the magazine in which he had first found fame more than twenty years earlier, and he created a new strip cartoon, Young Bill, for Illustrated magazine. In October 1939 his autobiography, Wide Canvas was published, and the following year a new film, Old Bill & Son, was made, starring a young John Mills as Old Bill's son. From 1942-44 Bairnsfather was attached to the US Forces in Europe as an accredited war cartoonist, contributing more than two hundred cartoons to the US forces newspaper Stars & Stripes. After the Second World War, Bairnsfather undertook three more lecture tours of America and Canada, where he remained as popular as ever. Following his last tour in 1950, he lived quietly, spending much of his time painting landscapes. In 1957 Canadian broadcaster CBC tracked him down, and he was interviewed at his Worcestershire home by reporter Bob Ross, for the 'Assignment' radio programme, broadcast in Canada on 20 November. The following year, CBC came calling again, this time for television. Bairnsfather was filmed at the BBC studios in London talking to CBC's Charles Templeton, and the interview was shown across Canada in a special Armistice Day edition of the public affairs programme 'Close Up' on 12 November 1958. A few months later, Canadian-born journalist Sir Beverley Baxter, MP, profiled Bairnsfather in his 'London Letter' in Maclean's magazine for July 1959. The interview was accompa- nied by what was to be the last published cartoon of Old Bill. It prompted a letter from retired Staff Sergeant Percy E Potts of Chatham, Ontario, who had met the cartoonist in the Fall of 1948 when he visited the Sergeant's Mess of the 1st Kent Regiment in Chatham, after a lecture. After reading the article in Maclean's, Potts, Welfare Officer of the Kent branch #431 of the Canadian Legion, had written to Bairnsfather reminding him of their meeting, and requesting an original "better 'ole" drawing for displaying at an Old Soldiers function being held by the Legion that Fall. Bairnsfather was happy to oblige, and on 8 September 1959 sent a wash drawing of the better 'ole to Percy Taylor. It would be the last copy of his famous cartoon he would ever draw - on 29 September 1959, just three weeks after sending the drawing to Canada, Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather died in Worcester, aged 72. Today, more than a century after his first cartoon was published, Bruce Bairnsfather's legacy lives on. His work is highly collectable, and as we continue to commemorate the centenary of the First World War his cartoons are reaching new audiences through 21st century social media, with dedicated pages on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on Bruce Bairnsfather contact Mark Warby, 35 Underwood Close, Callow Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 5YS, England. E-mail or www.bruce SHOULDER TO SHOULDER 25 (Left to right) Colleen Fairholme, Executive Director Kingston Military Family Resource Centre (KMFRC). The Chevalier, Dr. John Scott Cowan, Principal Emeritus of the Royal Military College of Canada, presents a cheque for $5000 on behalf of the Kingston and the Islands Command of the Order of St. George to Col. Andrew Jayne CD, Base Commander of Canadian Forces Base Kingston, who accepts the donation on behalf of the Kingston Military Families Resource Centre. On the Right of the picture is Knight Commander Vaughn Hughes, Commander of Kingston and the Islands Command of the Order of St. George. Photo credit: Base Photo A BRIEF HISTORY OF The Order of St. George S ometime in the Mid 14th Century a number of Chivalric Orders were established. One of the first secular orders is thought to be the Order of St. George. Originating in Hungary sometime in the first quarter of he 14th Century. A meeting took place to add to the laws of the Order in Visograd Castle on St. George's Day, 23 of April 1326. The order was about 50 individuals strong who swore to defend the realm and to protect the King. George, a Roman Soldier served under the Emperor Diocletian but was raised by his parents in the Christian faith. He was killed in 303 A.D. for his beliefs. George became the symbol of worthy chivalrous values and achieved Saint hood in many European countries which included England. His Saint day is noted each year on the 23rd of April.

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