Children’s Royal Navy ABC

In today’s politically correct world it seems odd to some how proud people were of their country and military in the past and how this message was used in everything from advertising to children’s books. Whether this is jingoism or well placed pride in the nation’s accomplishments is not for this blog to say, however it has left us some absolute corkers when it comes to surviving artefacts and tonight we have a wonderful child’s book of the alphabet from the Great War that celebrates the achievements of the Royal Navy:

The inside cover has a little verse:

Hurrah for the British Navy! Hurrah for our sailors bold!

The great gray ship’s of Britain, the lads with hearts of gold-

They bravely breast the billows; they keep us safe and free;

No foeman can affright us while they are on the sea.

While we are sleeping soundly, their sleepless watch they keep;

While winter winds are howling, they plough the stormy deep.

Their roaring guns are ready with steady hands to guide.

God bless the British Navy, our bulwark and pride.

What follows is a profusely illustrated ABC, with some truly excellent artwork:

The references to Jutland and the German Navy suggest that this book was published in 1917 or 1918. The rear cover shows a small child dressed as a sailor and a patriotic little verse:

The poetry in this book is hardly brilliant, but it’s patriotism is rather fantastic and it is done without a trace of irony. This has to be one of my favourite little finds of the year and might just get an outing teaching my three year old daughter her ABC!

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