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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Little child in uniform


jemm

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Came across some photographs one of which was this one of a child, was this kind of thing common, anyone any ideas what the reason would be for dressing her/him up ? :)

post-4696-1154687640.jpg

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It wasn't unusual, but neither was it common for children to be dressed up as servicemen in this country and the photo's themselves tended to be forwarded to relatives. You tend to see more of "mother's little soldiers" on French propaganda cards than you do here. The interesting point about this card is that the little chap is wearing a "Derby Scheme" armband.

Graham.

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With the heady patriotism at the start of WW1 more imaginary Germans were probably killed by small boys and their mates in their back gardens than real ones were in the war! Whilst such clothing may have been used for a patriotic family photo or even as a recruiting aid, you can bet they ended up as play-clothes, and many probably made for that reason in the first place.

No different really to the cowboy suit or whatever from Toys-R-Us today.

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I think that his family had connections with the Royal Navy too.

Looks like RN buttons, and he also has the row of buttons on the bottom of his sleeves.

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And its set me wondering - who do small boys kill nowadays? Germans and Japs are probably old hat. Maybe its Iraqis or Afghans.

(Or maybe my illusions will be shattered when someone tells me that it depends which game is loaded into the Playstation).

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And its set me wondering - who do small boys kill nowadays? Germans and Japs are probably old hat. Maybe its Iraqis or Afghans.

What a good question! When I was a lad playing "war" in the late '60s it was always the British versus the Germans, with loyalties transiently divided between out-and-out patriotism and the recognition of an efficient, well-equipped and confident army. My sten gun or Schmeisser at that time would have been a bit of wood I'd found round about where we had set up our battlefield. Would I be sighting Iraqis or Afghans over the end of my pointy stick these days?

Gary

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I still have a huge box of English and German soldiers along with the tanks and artillery vehicles, made by Britons that my brother and dad used to play with when my brother was a lad. I doubt you will ever be able to buy Afgahan and Iraq soldier sets in the toy shops :)

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Intrigued, as I was, by my own question, and through dint of careful research (gettng the neighbour to ask his kids) it appears that the following categories of dastardly enemy are killed on a regular basis in the back gardens of Great Britain:

1. Germans. World War 2 variety, it appears, as opposed to WW1. Not only are they still "cool" but they had "great tanks". It appears that WW1 is boring as all they ever did was sit in trenches and write poetry.

2. Occasionally Zulus. Because "they only had spears so it's easy to get 'em". It seems that a particular variety of Zulu, namely the "mechanical Zulu", is far more difficult to kill effectively and you really need a something-or-other-I-didn't-quite-catch, which is a sort of ray gun.

3. Aliens.

4. Arabs (although apparently mum doesn't like this as it might upset the Kumars at no 42, or whoever).

5. "Charlie" (by which I think is meant the Viet-Cong - no doubt a Hollywood influence there).

Apparently cowboys and indians are sissy and pirates don't get a look-in as "that's for little kids".

So now you know!

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I seem to recall seeing a newspaper advert WW1 period from a London department store who sold uniforms for kiddies.

I have a splendid book of photos from the Raj, which shows a young FM Lord Robertson with his father, Robertson junior wearing a replica of his dad's uniform, probably run up by the Regimental tailor.

Edwin

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And its set me wondering - who do small boys kill nowadays?

If mine is anything to go by - giant robotic killer space aliens. With ablative hull armour, rotating-field-polarity shields, multi-vector attack modes, and occasionally demonic powers for flava.

Where does he get this stuff? ? ? *

It occurs that's probably healthier than killing "real" bad guys. The odds of actually meeting a giant robotic killer space alien in later life is...well...remote.

I can't help reflecting - "Life was simpler then."

Sorry for the diversion. As you were.

Duckman

Ex-SE-5A pilot and WWII Tiger II "ace". Triplanes? T-34's? It's all grist to the same mill.

*Well, me, actually :o with help from Gene Rodenberry and Joss Whedon....

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Is that a little girl in the photograph? (just going by the hat and the face) - I've seen plenty of these period photos of boys dressed as soldiers and sailors but never girls (though I'm sure there was many a young female warrior that "gave the Kaiser socks" in the back yard!).

I seem to recall when I was at primary school, when putting the world to rights, it was always British vs Germans (WWII vintage) - though I always had to be German because "I could speak it" (well, in reality my german at that time amounted to "Achtung!", "jawohl Herr Major!", and "Gott in Himmel!" and various other jems gathered from reading Victor and Warlord comics!).

cheers

Steve

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