Ernest Ibbetson’s 1910 Comic Scouting postcard gaming scenarios

I have mentioned before how many of the photograph postcard series of early Boy Scouts (and oddly not Guides) issued by various different printing companies have that black and white Silent Movie stills photograph feel to them.

I like this great group of figures on the left of this Davidson Brothers card from the same period, they seem to match well the determined characters in Ernest Ibbetson’s scouting postcards.

They often feel like they could be illustrations to an exciting adventure yarn or magazine story, which is just the sort of magazine that commissioned the artist of these comic colour postcards, Ernest Ibbetson.

An excellent hat plume or camouflage on this Captain Mainwaring type Scoutmaster. They have that gently mocking Dad’s Army humour about them.

I wonder what gaming scenarios are suggested by these two latest comic scouting postcards in my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop project?

I picked these 1910 postcards up online for about £1.40 each as they have some past bottom corner damage, but considering a good condition one goes for £40.00, this seems a good gaming deal to me!

Both have mounting marks on the back from their life in an album and an inscription from the original owner ‘Peggy 1924’.

Printed by C.W. Faulkner and Co, London

This auctioneer archive site shows my two card images as undamaged cards and several others like bottom right, “The evening meal-NOT as Mother makes it”.

Interesting to see the early Boy Scout haversack and rolled coat, along with the patrol flags on white staffs with several rings of (measuring?) lines at the top.

Ernest Ibbetson the artist, 1877-1959

Cartoonist and Military Artist

Ernest Ibbetson was born in 1877. He specialized in paintings of members of the British Army. He was also from 1910 an illustrator of Baden Powell’s Boy Scouts  and also Boys Life magazine for the Boy Scouts Of America (which began c. 1912).

He was painting WW2 military types such as commandos and marines etc. into the 1940s.

There is a catalogue or biography titled Ernest Ibbetson, Military Artist and Adventure Story Illustrator written by Frank A. Barrett in 2008.

I have seen this image before, ‘Lost and Found’ of a lost child with scouts nearby, a colour page from the Boys’ Own Paper c. 1910.

WW1 poster artist

Ibbetson produced The London Cyclists (1912) for the London Regiment. The poster shows a dismounted territorial army cyclist loading his rifle. Behind him stand the remainder of the battalion ready to join them.

Ibbetson is best known for providing the art work for the famous WW1  poster, Women of Britain Say – Go! (May 1915) commissioned by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee. 

For the original posters visit

Blog post by Mark Man Of TIN, 1970s British Boy Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired) on July 2022.

6 thoughts on “Ernest Ibbetson’s 1910 Comic Scouting postcard gaming scenarios”

  1. Enjoyed your post Mark . I knew of the WW1 posters but hadn’t come across the comic postcards before. It was great to see them and they are terrific fun.


    1. I didn’t connect the familiar wartime poster(s) with these comic postcards. The earnest, tumbling or crawling boys in these postcards have that lovely Thelwell / Ronald Searle / St Trinian’s feel with a dash of Captain Mainwaring Dad’s Army in the Scoutmaster.


  2. A delightful find! The crawling “scouts on the warpath” reminds me of a Bill Mauldin panel of training soldiers crawling. One has his bottom in the air, and the sergeant places his helmet on it “where it’ll do the most good.”

    I have not heard of this artist, and shall have to look for his work. Thanks!


  3. Fantastic find, and the gentle humour is so British and has stood the t est of time. Regards the rings on the poles, could they denote some form of rank or skill?
    Or ownership?


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