Old Bill at the Canadian Corps School
As much as soldiers enjoy learning new things; new weapon systems, new tactics and techniques to make them more effective on the field of battle, there is one timeless constant that survives all armies and eras. Soldiers dislike being in the school environment. Published in the school newsletter of the Canadian Corps Training School, 'Tchun, this cartoon not only shows the readiness of soldiers returned to training environments desiring a return to their "real work," but it also shows how effectively the cartoons of Bruce Bairnsfather had penetrated the familiar understanding of Canadian soldiers duting the First World War.
Old Bill and his trench-mate, still in their shapeless Gor-blimey hats and torn, patched greatcoats have come up against the well-groomed school instructor with his swagger stick and handle-bar mustache. It hasn't taken Old Bill long to assess that the hazards of the school environment outweigh those of his familiar trenches and dugouts. Old Bill would rather face whizz-bangs, trench rats and an occasional whiff of gas than the parade square prominence of a school sergeant-major, polishing brass, and the risks of Field Punishment No. 1 for righteous insubordintion.