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Contemptibles Gallery

Available as Prints and Gift Items

Choose from 8 pictures in our Contemptibles collection for your Wall Art or Photo Gift. All professionally made for Quick Shipping.


Our ?Little Contemptibles?, 1914
Our ?Little Contemptibles?, 1914
Full Range of Prints and Gifts in Stock
Our Little Contemptibles, WW1
Our Little Contemptibles, WW1
Full Range of Prints and Gifts in Stock
Parade of Old Contemptibles, St Pauls, London, WW2
Parade of Old Contemptibles, St Pauls, London, WW2
Full Range of Prints and Gifts in Stock
WWI Field Message book
WWI Field Message book
Full Range of Prints and Gifts in Stock
Old Contemptibles car badge on wooden base, WW1
Old Contemptibles car badge on wooden base, WW1
Full Range of Prints and Gifts in Stock
The Little Contemptibles
The Little Contemptibles
Full Range of Prints and Gifts in Stock
Ww1 Troopship in Med
Ww1 Troopship in Med
Full Range of Prints and Gifts in Stock
Peace Day Celebrations, to celebrate the end of World War One
Peace Day Celebrations, to celebrate the end of World War One
Full Range of Prints and Gifts in Stock
Our ?Little Contemptibles?, 1914 Featured Image

Our ?Little Contemptibles?, 1914

Our ?Little Contemptibles?, 1914.Oil on canvas by William Barns Wollen (1857-1936), 1918 (c); exhibited at the Royal Academy 1918 (No 260).Composed of regular soldiers and reservists, the British Expeditionary Force landed on the Continent in August in 1914. During the early months of World War One (1914-1918) it was engaged in slowing down the German advance. This painting depicts open warfare with British infantry wearing large packs, taking cover behind a hedge; German artillery in the distance. The British Army?s experiences in the Boer War (1899-1902) had resulted in major reforms in organization, administration, tactics, weapons and equipment. Introduced in 1906, the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle, shown in this painting, enabled troops to produce very rapid, accurate fire. Infantry training now placed more emphasis on the ability to shoot straight and fast, and on mobility. These professional soldiers, drilled in new methods of attack, defence, and withdrawal, were taught to take greater advantage of cover.The title of the canvas relates to an order given by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany (1859 -1941) to the commander of his First Army, Alexander von Kluck (1846-1934), in August, 1914:- ?It is my Royal and Imperial Command that you concentrate your energies? and all the valour of my soldiers to exterminate first the treacherous English; walk over General French's insignificant [or contemptible] little Army. In fact the German advance was checked, and the men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who survived these heavy engagements proudly adopted the ironic title, ?The Old Contemptibles?. These men who served between the outbreak of war and midnight on 22 November 1914 were awarded the 1914 Star.In the 1880s, the artist, William Barns Wollen, served in the 20th (Artists?) Volunteer Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort?s Own), popularly known as the Artists? Rifles. Date: 1914

© The National Army Museum / Mary Evans Picture Library