Kenneth Cyril Bird 1887 - 1965


was a cartoonist and humourist who made a unique contribution

to Britain's home-front during WW2.


Bird signed his work Fougasse. A name he took from an unpredictable

form of French land-mine in WWl. He and his comrades discovered,

through bitter experience, that the bomb was likely to go off at any time.

Fougasse 1914 landmine card


Bird's own personality was anything but explosive. He was remembered

by his colleagues at Punch as a quiet and withdrawn man.


His drawings and cartoons, like HM Bateman's, offer a social commentary

on British middle-class anxieties in the middle decades of the last century.

Fougasse was commissioned by RoSPA to produce illustrated guides for

road safety during the 1930's. The objectives of RoSPA were achieved by

appeal to the ideal of courteous driving and road-side manners. Similarly,

his posters for London Transport show passengers how their behaviour

can make the transport system work better for everyone. Fougasse

always acknowledged these posters as propaganda. Indeed, he devised

a series of guidelines for the successful communication of propaganda

messages through humour.

sticky label


The stoic good humour of the British people during WW2 is one of the

founding mythologies of the home-front. The popular experience of the

war is recalled by reference to the ubiquitous Careless Talk posters that

Fougasse drew for the MInistry of Information. The posters were published

as a series of eight drawings in many formats. They were displayed in any

public place and in many military establishments. Each of the drawings

shows Hitler and Goering, in absurd poses, evesdropping on an

unsuspecting public. The posters succeed in making a serious point

light-heartedly. Although printed in very large editions during the war,

the posters are rare today. Examples in good condition are extremely

difficult to find.

Fougasse Careless Talks poster original Fougasse original Careless Talks poster Fougasse original careless talks cost livesoriginal Fougasse Careless Talks poster

original Fougasse Careless Talks Cost Lives original Fougasse Careless Talks poster original Fougasse Careless Talks poster Fougasse original Careless Talks poster

1940's originals - for sale @ £250 each



Fougasse book

Informative and decorative book on Fougasse by James Taylor

available from us £10

scarce Fougasse Christmas card,
published by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare,
inscribed by Mrs 'Fougasse' Bird in pencil,

Fougasse at Kings

to purchase or for more information

please contact

or visit

Rennies Seaside Modern

47 The Old High Street



CT20 1RN

01303 242427 or 07986 834084 anytime

Thursdays to Sundays or by appointment

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