Before there was "Sad Sack", there was Old Bill, Bert and Alf -the later three being the creation of World War One British cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather (1888 - 1959; and the former was the brainchild of World War Two Army Sergeant George Baker, 1915 - 1975). Bairnsfather was the creator of a popular cartoon called "Old Bill" which was widely believed by the "Tommies" to accurately depict the hardships on the Western Front.
This illustrated article is a theater review of The Better 'Ole; a funny, well received play written by the cartoonist and staged in London during the closing weeks of the war:
"Nightly, you may see guardsmen laughing and little miliners' assistants weeping, and hear the cheers of the men in khaki who know - Mother and son, the son who fought, sit side by side, and are holding hands, and tells her proudly, "It's just like that out there."
1918 plays,1918 theater,A film was made from the play in 1927. Bairnsfather must have been smitten by the theater world; between June and July, 1929, he performed on the New York stage production of "Becky Sharp".
- from Amazon: