Drawing the First World War

Soldiers' artworks

Scenes of hospital life:

Although their time in hospital could be difficult, some soldiers wanted to record it. One artist has created a jokey portrait of three fellow soldier-patients in blue military hospital uniforms (see top right image). They are trying to smoke at the same time as moving around on crutches.

Below the colourful ink drawing their names are noted as ‘Pert’, ‘Moran’ and ‘Crowley’. A further drawing, possibly by the same artist, is a careful sketch of Gledhow Hall. 

Dream or nightmare?

Another image (bottom left) is less cheerful. It shows a German Zeppelin air ship of the kind used to bomb Britain from 1916. Zeppelins dropped bombs on military targets, like factories and railway lines, but also on ordinary people’s homes. 

At the bottom the artist has written, ‘This is the dream I had the other night so I thought I would send it to you’ and signed his name, adding ‘I thought they were [?] over here’. Why do you think he drew it?


Air ship - An aircraft that is lighter than air
Target - In war, to try to attack somewhere
Zeppelin - A type of airship made up of a metal frame filled with hydrogen gas

View other relevant My Learning WW1 resources.

Scroll down for a list of links and resources on this topic or see the teachers' notes  page for discussion and activity ideas.

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