Herr Frightfulness, recruiting Sergeant (also called Five Million Volunteers)

Accession Number ART02234
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 61.5 x 53.8 cm (irreg.); image: 56 x 53.4 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description brush and ink, charcoal, pencil, white gouche on paper
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depicts a caricature of two men (one possibly the British Prime Minister, or a thin and fat German man walking) standing above a landscape with thousands of young men below heading towards the recruitment office. Behind these men is a landscape and buildings burning. The cartoon appeared in the 'Daily Sketch', London, 7 February 1916, p.4. It was also published in United States papers with a report that German -Americans had been saying 'We will give the Canadians something to think about' and 'the Huns caused the Ottawa line: 'Mine Gott! We tink we giff them Canadians somedings to think about, but we find we haff only given dem somedings to act upon!'. The cartoon was also captioned 'Five million cowards behaving like heroes'. Will Dyson was the first Australian official war artist to visit the front during the First World War, travelling to France in December 1916, remaining there until May 1917, making records of the Australian involvement in the war. He was formally appointed as an official war artist, attached to the AIF, in May 1917, working in France and London throughout the war. His commission was terminated in March 1920.