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What do Paddy Doyle, WW1, and the Battle of Jutland Have in Common?

Posted by Karen M on

 

What do Paddy Doyle, WW1, and the Battle of Jutland Have in Common?

This lovely little unissued WW1 postcard has a very interesting history.
It appears to be just an antique (over 100 years old) paper postcard, which has the date, (4th August 1916) and signature on the rear of the card. A hand drawn, pen and ink, image is on the front of the card of sailors furling a sail on a sailing ship, with "Paddy Doyle," written underneath, and signed H.S.J.


However, when you know that the pen and ink image was drawn by a sailor (H.S.J) on active duty during WW1 on a naval vessel that had served in "The Battle of Jutland (31st May-1st June 1916)," the postcard takes on a whole new meaning. HSJ probably drew these pictures whilst taking a well-earned break from the toils of battle.

My hubby has owned the postcard since he was a small child in the 1970s. He bought it, and several others, with his pocket money as he loved the picture so much. The shop owner, (from an Antiques shop on Commercial Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire), told him that the artist (HSJ) served on HMS Galatea, which was a Arethusa-class light cruisers built in 1914 and did serve in the Battle of Jutland, however, we have no provenance for this. The artist drew several pictures of sailing ships, and you could assume that he did have some experience or prior knowledge of sail boats probably working out from the Port of Liverpool, UK.

A lovely piece of folk art, "Paddy Doyle" is reference to an old sailing ship sea shanty of the same name. In the sea shanty, they sing about "tossing the bunting," when furling a sail meaning 'to make its final package at the centre of the yard when in its skin.'

Another phrase in the shanty references:-
" We'll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!"

Paddy Doyle was, according to Fred H. Buryeson in the "Coast Seamen's Journal," June 23, 1909, a Liverpool shoemaker (based in Nelson Court and Queen Street in the mid 1800s) known for the high quality of his sea boots.

So, it is true that a picture (or postcard) paints a thousand words, and who knew that there could be a link between Paddy Doyle, WW1 and the Battle of Jutland!


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