Propaganda bulldog mascots and memorabilia
Hi readers I hope you are all well and doing ok where ever you are presently Im having trouble sleeping so I thought I’d compile some recent research and write a new blog, So during the war of World War Two the English bulldog was Englands hierarchies breed of choice when it came to the start of the BULLDOG SPIRIT or propaganda operation.
Please note the purpose of this blog is to inform teach and add relatable content to the website it’s not the intentions of Collectibulldogs to upset or inconvenience anyone, this blog contains mild war references which could be distressing or uninteresting to some people and the knowledge is my own research unless stated otherwise thank you.
That old Misconception
One of the biggest misconceptions of World War Two was the story that Winston Churchill adored bulldogs owned them and was always seen with them, I’m sorry to say that this isn’t true and the reason for this mislaid idea came from an old
newspaper article cartoon where the artist likened Winston Churchill to a grumpy old bulldog and soon after that the idea of the bulldog spirit was born pushing the image of the bulldog into the forefront.
Winston Churchill has often been pictured with bulldogs these pictures are not doctored but clever publicity so when he went to inspect bases he would often be asked to have his picture taken with the bases bulldog mascot. The other photos normally captured are when Winston Churchill was on his holidays visiting high society many of whom back then breed show bulldogs.
Winston you softy
This Historical gent did own animals in fact he was very fond of many species he kept a few kinds some exotic but none touched his heart like his two poodles, The
one to grab his love for dogs was a poodle called Rufus the second and was considered by Winston himself as one of he’s best friends and confidants, this could be because the dog listened to his mumbling rants and instead of bad news from enemy lines just licked his own doggy looking face.
I have had many a small discussion with people whom are adamant that our national mascot is the bulldog and it’s such a shame it isn’t, the actual mascot to the queens army is a ram which can be seen on occasion and the trooping of the colour.
A NAVAL MASCOT ABOARD THE BRITISH
DESTROYER HMS VANSITTART.
It was not common for the English to have dogs aboard ships this was not because the dog would chase the ships cat mouse catcher but more to do with sailors safety and extra responsibility, there was one famous exception and this beautiful bulldog was called Venus. The captain of the VANSITTART had her as a pet so she became the ships mascot. Sailors back then had to do everything manually from self grooming to keeping the running of the ship so many sighs were made if anyone was asked to walk Venus and kick her do do over board lol.
As we are talking about ships I might as well mention the H91 or better known as HMS Bulldog, she was what is classed as a B class destroyer built for the Royal Navy in 1929 she was Initially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet, and was then transferred to the home fleet in 1936.
During the Civil war of Spain 1936–1939, the ship spent considerable time in Spanish waters, enforcing the arms blockade imposed by Britain and France on both sides of the conflict. HMS Bulldog saw service throughout World War Two on
escort duty during the battles of both artic and Atlantic oceans.
Her most notable actions were the capture of one of Germanys precious enigma machines (like the film), they found valuable notebooks too from the German submarine U110 in 1941, and sinking another German submarine in 1944. The surrender of the German garrisons of the Channel isles was signed on 9 May 1945 aboard Bulldog. Redundant after the war, she was decommissioned and scrapped for parts in 1946.
Signature naval tattoos
The last part to this nautical theme are Tattoos and the Bulldog is up there with many other popular body adornments like the Anchor the swallow and some even have ships tattooed on, The actual Destroyer HMS Bulldog the sailors were obliged to have their signature bulldog tattoo yet other sailors it was choice.
This tradition is still big in American military the USMC ( United States marine corp) have the bulldog as a mascot and also were nick named the devil dogs by the Japanese imperial army. So there’s a heavy influence in the us army and apart from civilians university football teams with a bulldog as the university mascot often have a bulldog tattoo yet this was more after World War Two.
2D them where it hurts
Funny title I know, in this segment we can chat about all the advertising propaganda the allied forces used to show the enemy the Ethos of the “BULLDOG SPIRIT” the English and her allies wanted to portray, I’ve not come across many posters but you can find repos on eBay there’s even a famous painting of a white bulldog standing on the Union Jack
and this has then created other similar paintings. Nothing says it quite like a post card, and just like the English seaside postcards propaganda versions had the same funny cheek but with a more sinister message.
Postcards were one of the more novel propaganda weapons artists were let loose to ridicule the enemy and using
the Bulldog and depicting the German dutchound either being won over or laughed at, I wonder if the enemy back then did the same I’ve never found any yet I know all countries used some sort of propaganda or differing methods at the same time. The most sinister picture I have seen that I won’t post is a bulldog ironically beautifully painted on the side of a bomb with the artists name and small message alongside it Please check out our Postcards we even have leather ones but still on the look out for the rarer silk or embroidered postcards.
mum breeds bulldogs now 1940
After the rise of the Bulldog spirit the breed was just as popular as it was before but now even more so yet the gentleman folk that were usually on home shores working civilian lives and breeding showing were now stationed miles away from home after being enrolled into the army. This left women perplexed at first how were they expected to carry on and take on breeding too.
Many women found that by breeding bulldogs to sell they could contribute towards the war funds and also send much needed supplies out to their loved ones it also helped running the home easier having a little more money but as the rations were for all there wasn’t anything to gain from breeding except for the donating of the funds.
Pups just as cute in the 40s
Quite a few of these women were farmers wife’s so were used to the breeding methods and found it easier than town ladies (except the town breeders/club showers wife’s) whom had watched their husbands, for the novice breeder that sold puppies for fund contribution got free veterinary treatment if and when needed. For
the few that tried for themselves often failed even before the pups were weaned.
The piece/ booklet I have and Is called the bulldog standard is dated 1913 which is actually the First World War and I think again in 1924 so it makes me wonder how regulated the breeding was at the time and it’s easy to see from records they must of been very strict and organised as bulldogs own DNA or background can usually be traced back further that 1940-1945
If your interested in the history of this period or similar mediums may I interest you with the blog from the British museum a brilliant read every time they post plus resources to get info I don’t have here at Collectibulldogs Check out the British museum blog and I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised, they have 100s of demographic topics where as I have just the one.
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please feel free to muse the site and see how many Bulldog propoganda pieces you can find in The gallery link to other pages
As I do not have any political view whatsoever I want to make it known this blog is for knowledge only and as im now a museum listed website I have to cover some topics that could be seen as uncomfortable to some, I have used themildest pictures here so not to scare any younger demographic readers and make the subject as lighthearted as possible even though I understand the severity of what happened then.
The bulldog Spirit is still very much Alive today yet seen in a much friendlier setting for example they are used in adverts a lot like the Churchill ad (no pun intended)
and bulldogs can be found in comedies and films. I think when I see wiggles lazing around snoring I think why not the breed has given so much these past few centuries they deserve a good rest. So from Oliver and Rosie here and myself keep safe and happy collecting.
Thank you very much to Donna at the Boston Terrier Rescue Network for seeing my plight to find guest bloggers and for so kindly putting out the following article Guest article thank you Donna and hopefully I may get a guest post or two.