Wartime parade panorama

Each year, the Lord Mayor’s Show features a public parade through London. Cheap fold-out panoramas showing the parade route have been sold since the early 19th century, but few have survived in such good condition. This example is from the show of 9 November 1915.

Since these souvenirs were prepared beforehand they were sometimes inaccurate. By the 20th century, newspaper photographs and cinema newsreels revealed the truth. In reality, the 1915 Show featured captured German soldiers, searchlights, anti-aircraft guns and even a plane. It was dubbed ‘the Recruiting Show’ and stands lined the route encouraging people to enlist on the spot.

Torrential rain forced participants to cover their ceremonial liveries with waterproofs -the Times suggested this strengthened the ‘symbolism of the war pageant’. This panorama was a souvenir, but not a true record of the parade.


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