Illustrators, Icons, and the Infantryman Re-imagined: Cartoon Soldiers of the Great War

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Artistic Expressions and the Great War, A Hundred Years On


This chapter explores wartime cartoons as a resource for understanding the attitudes and expectations of soldiers and civilians who lived through the Great War over one hundred years ago. Cartoons gave readers a recognizable and reassuring way to imagine the Infantryman in the age of industrialized warfare. Cartoon artists, even those who had seen combat and suffered injuries, did not tackle head-on the topic of war violence and death or reject outright nationalistic stereotypes celebrating the Infantryman and denigrating the enemy. They worked within and against such categories in oblique and often ambiguous ways. Their work cannot be contained within categories such as propaganda, skull stuffing, or eye wash, which were fluid and contested at this time. Nor can they be erased from cultural memory for not corresponding to postwar attitudes about soldiers and about (anti-) war art. Their legacy endures across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.


World Languages and Cultures

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.