With it being the two hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war, I thought that I would mark the occasion by going real time through the events that happened through the war, as chronicled by Punch.
It would of course be prudent for me to start at the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne whose death precipitated a series of events that lead to war the world over.
Yet, in Punch, the event scarcely makes a mention. In fact, by scarcely, I mean not at all.
With the benefit if hindsight, this seems like a glaring omission from the pages of Punch. In fact, regardless of the political backdrop, surely the assassination of any member of a European royal family should make major news?
This may well normally have been the case. There is, however, another enveloping crisis at the moment that is occupying much more interest in Punch. It is, of course, Irish home rule.
The situation here has rapidly been deteriorating of late. Later on, as we will see, civil war in the united kingdom seems to be the logical conclusion of the unfolding events.
As we know now, something rather large happened that distracted the country at large from the Ulster problem.
At the moment, however, the idea of a war in Europe is not being entertained. Certainly, diplomacy between the European nations is not at its best, but war in Europe – indeed, a world war – is utterly unthinkable.
So, unfortunately I don’t have an extract or cartoon for you pertaining to the second world war from Punch at all. Instead, I will provide you with this one, from around the time that the Archduke was murdered.