This website is owned and maintained by Mark Warby

Towards the end of 1917 the owners of The Bystander granted Leonard Grimwade permission to reproduce a limited number of Fragments From France cartoons on items from the Grimwades range of pottery then in production. The first piece to be made by the Staffordshire firm bearing one of Bruce Bairnsfather’s cartoons was their ‘War Time butter dish for a family of ten’ and this was quickly followed by a whole range of pieces, from plates and plaques to teapots, flower pots, jugs, tobacco jars—in fact, just about any item of pottery you can think of, all featuring the famous Bairnsfather cartoons.

Bairnsfather Ware was an immediate success, and for the remainder of the duration of the war, the Grimwades factory churned out thousands of pieces featuring the Fragments from France drawings.

In January 1918 the Pottery Gazette reported that “the first Bairnsfather butter dish has been signed in indelible colours by the Mayor of Stoke on Trent (Ald. W.E. Robinson) and will be put up for auction for the benefit of the Great Hanley Red Cross effort.”

The Pottery Gazette also made a rather prophetic observation, commenting that “though people are likely to purchase these various articles for the ostensible purpose for which they were fabricated, it is almost inevitable that most people will want to put by pieces of this ware as a reminder to their children and children’s children of the most stressful period in the world’s history.”Many early pieces feature the back

Leonard Grimwade

 The War Time Butter Dish for a Family of Ten

The first item made by Grimwades to feature a Bairnsfather cartoon, 1917

Grimwades Bairnsfather Ware Gallery


Click on one of the links below to go to a page of photographs of items which fall in that category


Vases & Flowerpots


Bowls & Dishes


Cups & Mugs


Plates & Plaques


Teapots & Stands


Butter Dishes & Ash Trays






Bairnsfather Ware Backstamps & Trademarks


Grimwades Bairnsfather

Ware Trade Catalogue

and Advertisements


Cartoons used on

Bairnsfather Ware

stamp “Made by the Girls of Staffordshire during the Winter of 1917 when the boys were in the Trenches fighting for Liberty and Civilisation.” With the end of the war in November 1918 this was changed to either “A Souvenir of the Great War” or “A Momento of the Great War”, with the dates of commencement, Armistice and the Signing of Peace underneath.

Although no records survive from Grimwades, it has been possible to establish, through identification of shapes of pieces and later backstamps, that Grimwades continued to produce various items featuring Fragments from France cartoons for several decades after the end of the First World War—in fact some pieces have recently been dated to as late as the early 1950’s.

Many items from the Bairnsfather Ware range are illustrated on this website, and can be accessed by clicking on the links on the top right hand side of this page.

















& Old Bill


Fragments from France

Bystander Merchandise

BB Books

Grimwades Bairnsfather Ware

Old Bill on Stage

Old Bill on the Screen

Old Bill Newsletter

News and Events

BB in WW2

Carry On



the Wars