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Unseen Sketches Of First World War

By Devaki

A series of unseen drawings of the First World War have been unveiled in Britain, after 94 years as they were deemed to be too sensitive for the British public.

These were the drawings by Sir Muirhead Bone, which were first published in newspapers to boost morale at home. They were also published in a book called 'The Western Front', in 1916.

The sketches include a dying soldier, a crippled tank and stretcher bearers carrying the wounded from battle.

The artist was sent to France during the Battle of the Somme, where thousands of British Army personnel were slaughtered in their attempt to drive back the Germans. He was already told by the intelligence and propaganda chiefs that his job was to record the war in a manner which would never dissuade young men from enlisting.

But the sketches provided the horrors of war, the carnage, etc and hence these sketches were censored and categorized as too demoralizing in the light of the need for new recruits. But the unseen images show the reality, says Tim Barlass, publisher of The Western Front's new version.

Now the artist's family has provided the images for the new edition of the same book.

Story first published: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 17:17 [IST]
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