Carlton Ware World banner
18 January 2014
A tribute to all who died & suffered as a consequence of World War 1.

2014 is the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of World War One. This is the first of a series of articles featuring Carlton Heraldic China models relating to the terrible conflict.

Part One - The Military


WW1 Patriotic Recruiting poster 1914.
WW1 Patriotic Recruiting
poster 1914.
Studio picture of a typical WW1 soldier.
Studio picture of a typical
WW1 soldier.
Carlton China model of a WW1 soldier.
Carlton China model
of a WW1 soldier.
Patriotically, like many pottery manufacturers, Carlton Ware made Heraldic China models relating to the 1914-18 war.

As a tribute to all those who died and suffered as a result of the war, we review a little of what was made at Carlton Ware's Copeland Street works.

Some represented the men who fought in the terrible conflict, which we show here along with recruitment posters and photographs. Cuthbert Wiltshaw, the pottery owner's son, was in the Royal Flying Corp for the duration. He was lucky to have survived.

Three WW1 Carlton China models of Scottish soldiers.
Three WW1 Carlton China models of Scottish soldiers. The photograph on the right is of the Liverpool Scottish "E" Company parading for kit inspection in September 1914. It was one of the first territorial battalions to arrive in France.

WW1 Recruiting poster 1914.
WW1 Recruiting poster 1914. Inevitably, so many posters belied the horrors of the war.

On its own, Britain’s role in the conflict would have been limited. When the war trumpets sounded in Britain in August 1914, the echoes carried to the corners of the Empire. The call brought forth an extraordinary display of solidarity.

At least a quarter of those who laid down their lives in Britain’s cause were not British. In support, the following countries entered the war on the 4th August 1914 :- Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Rhodesia and South Africa.

Below are some recruitment posters for Australian combatants.


Australian World War One recruiting posters.
Australian World War One recruiting posters.

The remarkably generous response of the colonies, ensured that Britain punched well over its weight. More than two million served in the armies of the dominions, the self-governing British Commonwealth nations.

Below are some recruitment posters for Canadian combatants.



Canadian World War One recruiting posters.



Carlton China Old Bill
Carlton China "Old Bill"
caption "Yours to a cinder".
Old Bill from The Bystander
"Old Bill" from The Bystander
"When will it be strawberry?"


Man, Machine, Woman or Weapon

Most WW1 models were straightforward representations of man or machine, woman or weapon, but one was based on the comical character "Old Bill" created at the beginning of the war by Bruce Bairnsfather for The Bystander magazine.

Old Bill was depicted as a mature, pipe-smoking British "tommy" with a walrus moustache. The character became popular and was considered a major morale booster for the British troops.

The dugout shelter, used extensively as protection from shelling, featured in Bairnsfather's cartoons. Carlton Ware adapted it calling it "Shrapnel Villa" and registered it as a design in 1917. This is shown below - notice the brazier with glowing coals on which "tommies" cooked their food. Adjacent is a Bairnfather cartoon of a dugout. Notice the lethal shells flying above it from all directions.

Carlton China Shrapnel Villa
Left Carlton China "Shrapnel Villa" captioned "Tommies dugout somewhere in France. Right"A Hopeless Dawn" by Bruce Bairnsfather.


The Royal Navy
Sailors were represented by the model shown on the right below. There were far fewer recruiting posters for the Royal Navy since the conflict was primarily on land.

The Naval Fleet, then the largest in the world, played a vital role by blockading Germany preventing imports of food and war materials. Naval warfare had thus become a tool of economic strangulation.

Royal Naval Division recruitment poster and Cartlon Ware model of a sailor.
Left - Recruiting poster for Royal Naval Division for "Handymen".
Right - Carlton Ware model of a sailor - on his back is printed "Handy Man".


The terrible effect of mustard gas
The terrible effect of mustard gas.

The Reality & Horrors of War

We must all have ancestors who were killed or maimed in WW1 and the pain of loss to relatives must have been devastating. Current thinking says that around 17 million soldiers and civilians were killed during the war. In the UK 6 million were mobilised: over 700,000 of whom were killed, more than 1 in 10. 888,246 British and Colonial soldiers lost their lives fighting for Britain.

Mustard gas was one of the severest chemical weapons used then. Delivered in artillery shells, it was heavier than air, and it settled to the ground as an oily liquid. It rarely killed but fatally injured victims sometimes took four or five weeks to die of burns from mustard gas exposure.

Chemical weapons were used on all sides. They were banned with the Armistice in 1925 and this is still enforced today on a global scale, though since then and even recently there have still been governments prepared to use them.

Seeing the photograph on the left is chilling. Imagine if it was you or someone who witnessed the atrocities first hand. ❑

© Harvey Pettit 2014. To email Harvey about this article .


Part 2 looks at the role of women.
This concludes our article on Carlton China models of the Military.

Our next article, Part Two, looks at Carlton China models that represented the role that women played during the war.



This website is image rich and is intended to be viewed on devices with larger screens such as tablets, laptops and desktops.
Although it can be viewed on smartphones you will get a poorer viewing experience.
Carlton Ware World © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.