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Florence Cole as a child

Street photography
propaganda in World War One

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World War One propaganda photograph of a boy, showing him framed with the king's crown, the British flag, flags of the allies, fighter planes and a warship.

World War One propaganda photograph of a boy framed with the king's crown, the British flag, flags of the allies, fighter planes and a warship.

Everyone was encouraged to support the World War One war effort in their own way, and patriotic propaganda and patriotism were woven into every facet of society.

The photograph shows an example from a typical street photographer.

My younger brother had his photograph taken by a street photographer on the way home from school. (Incidentally, he did not ask my mother's permission, and if he had she would doubtless have refused because money was so tight.)

What is interesting about the photo is how the relatively small photo of my brother is placed in a relatively large frame decorated with images that are clearly intended to whip up pride in what Britain and its allies were doing fighting the war. Note:

These are the powerful and victorious icons of war. Images of life in the trenches and the horrendous casualties are of course absent.

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