Saturday, March 17, 2018

Back to the Irish

With St. Patrick's Day falling on a Sathairnback Saturday this year, how could I not take a moment to catch up on events of the Emerald Isle in World War I?
"The Non-Stop Car" by Bernard Partridge in Punch, London, probably 1917
When last we checked in on Irish events, the British had executed Sir Roger Casement for his involvement in running weapons from Germany in support of the Easter Rising of 1916. Over the next couple of years, Britain released hundreds of other prisoners convicted for participating in that revolt, as a concession toward resumption of talks for Irish Home Rule.
"Defiance - Before and Aft" by Archibald Chapin in St. Louis Republic, March, 1918
On April 9, 1918, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George announced that his government was willing to grant Home Rule to Ireland, provided that the Irish institute universal male conscription (we call it "the draft" nowadays), sending its soldiers to fight alongside Entente forces. The Irish independence party, Sinn Fein, its ranks swelled by those released prisoners, rejected Lloyd George's terms and called for a general strike on April 22.

"A Bad Time for a Family Row" by John McCutcheon in Chicago Tribune, April 12, 1918
Rioting ensued with Sinn Fein and Irish Volunteer activists battling the Royal Irish Constabulary and British Army. Again, hundreds of republicans were arrested over the next several months, charged with conspiring with Germany. Still more were detained under legislation banning public parades.
"Germany's Last Reserves" by George E. Studdy in Passing Show, London, April, 1918
Indeed, Germany was all too happy to cheer on rebellion against England in Ireland...
"Die Wehrpflicht in Irland," unsigned, in Ulk, Berlin, May 24, 1918 well as in any other quarters of the empire upon which the sun had yet to set. One presumes that German-American cartoonist Arthur Johnson believed the colonized peoples of Burundi, Cameroon, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Togo had submitted freely to their German overlords.
Wenn... die Völker Selbstbestimmen Könnten" by Arthur Johnson in Kladderadatsch, Berlin, March 3, 1918
From the Berlin liberal magazine Jugend, there is this first panel of a seven-panel cartoon depicting Entente leaders disappointed in their Easter eggs.
Detail from "Ostereier" by Arpad Schmidhammer in Jugend, Munich, March 25, 1918
I did try to find some Irish point of view to include among today's cartoons, but I imagine the British censors weren't particularly keen to have Them Damn Pictures further stirring up Republican sentiment. This American cartoon by Daniel Fitzpatrick will have to do.
"The Mirage" by Daniel Fitzpatrick in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, probably 1917
Or perhaps this uncredited cartoon from Punch. I've commented before on how some cartoons don't translate well, and this time the foreign language is British. Either this cartoon is sympathetic to the Irish people, or it's an example of incredibly dry British wit desiccated beyond all hope of rehydration.
"In Suspense" in Punch, London, March or April, 1918

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