The Illustrated War News


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The Illustrated War News is a periodical published during most of the First World War (12 August 1914 – April 1918) by the Illustrated London News publishing company.

As part of my work as a volunteer in the Caird Library, I have been compiling an index of entries relating to maritime matters from The Illustrated War News, mainly concerning the Royal Navy and its warships but also hospital ships, merchant ships, passenger liners and the airplanes of the Royal Naval Air Service. The index is arranged in three sections: Named Ships, Named People, and Subject.

Officers playing cricket Officers playing cricket

Most of the named ships are Royal Navy ships or submarines, but there are others such as the Lusitania, or the occasional trawler which found itself unexpectedly involved in wartime action.

The Named People index includes Royal Navy personnel, as well as merchant service sailors and senior figures in the Admiralty. Names of people and ships mentioned in a picture caption, even if they do not appear in the accompanying image, have been noted.

The Subject index covers a wide variety of entries, from famous battles to technical items about guns, torpedoes or sea mines, sailors at work or leisure on board destroyers, and lighter subjects such as ships’ mascots (these included an Irish hog called Dennis, a monkey dressed in uniform and more than one cat).

The illustrations are in black and white, mainly photographs but also drawings or reproductions of watercolours, as well as diagrams and maps. Not all of the artworks are signed, but two of the artists whose names appear most frequently in the early years are Charles

A war-ship mascot during the Dardanelles. A war-ship mascot during the Dardanelles.

Pears and Norman Wilkinson, examples of whose work can be found in the National Maritime Museum’s collections. Some of the pictures had first been published in The Illustrated London News, and occasionally an illustration from a German magazine is printed.



(post to be continued...)