Posted by: Ross Gardner | October 27, 2015

Bad Taste

Horatio Hebert Kitchener (form Wikipedia)

Horatio Hebert Kitchener (from Wikipedia)

Surely I’m not the only one who finds the frequent and frivolous use of the above image in distinctly bad taste.  I recently saw it in a local newspaper advertising vacancies for the delivery of same publication, but this frankly grotesque (given the thoughtlessness exhibited by the World War One generals towards the lives of the ‘ordinary’ man and the entire communities left devastated by the consequent slaughter) image seems to crop up everywhere.  I have seen it requesting properties to let for estate agents, second hand vehicles for car salesman and, following a very brief bit of web research, found the image being used to declare that “Your Meet Needs Coleman’s” mustard.

Now yes, I do realise that some people my read such a rant as this and assume these are the words of some woolly-minded, band-wagon chasing liberal, looking for something all very ‘right-on’ to moan about.  Some may even hold the opinion that it all happened a very long time ago and isn’t it about time we got over it.  None of this, I would like to think is true.  I guess it just touches a nerve with me.  Let’s get one thing straight, war is in general one of the greatest scourges of our species.  However, even to my tenuous grasp of military history, the Great War provided a special example of just how desperately awful it can be.  It is nowadays rightly held up as something that ‘lest we forget’ (something which I never really understood until I watched an interview with a WW1 veteran who when recalling his experience in the trenches was still driven to tears by memories 80 years old) and yet we seem quite happy to use one of the most potent and familiar pieces of propaganda imagery of the time for quite meaningless purposes.


  1. You know I do not think you are ranting . I actually agree with you after reading your point of view. It was a serious matter and does seem more than a bit offensive to use such an image for the most frivolous of advertisements.

    • Thanks for commenting in agreement Samantha. I shall follow your ‘Historical Diaries’ blog in an attempt to improve my “tenuous grasp of history”.

      • Thanks ! I keep the articles easy to follow and understand so it is interesting not droning on about facts =)

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