Edward Pablo was the son of Pablo Fanque a famous Victorian Circus Artist and Proprietor. By the time the war broke out Edward was a mature artist well known in British circus.

Articles realting to Edward Pablo have been transposed retaining the language of the time. They are from The World’s Fair, the Showland newspaper held on microfiles at the National Fairground and Circus Archive, Univeristy of Shefield.




To the Editor of the World’s Fair

   Sir,— You will, no doubt, remember last November you kindly inserted in your paper a notice re a battalion of men 45 and over. Well, sir, I am sorry to say that we have been rejected. E. S. Day. Esq., organiser (Rowland’s Castle, Hants) has put in six months’ hard work which, as he says, he does not grudge, but after being refused by Lord Kitchener and the War Office (six times) and then taking it to the House of Commons with the same result, he is reluctantly obliged to recognise it as final. At one time we had been practically accepted but the Surgeon-General objected to men of our age being used in other climes (the dear old soul).

This dear old motherly surgeon,

Should surely take the bun;

For he says I’m over forty-five,

And too old to shoot a Hun.

   The high military authorities are reluctant to employ anyone over 35, but fully appreciate our patriotism and we receive through E. S. Day, Esq., a badge and a certificate stating that: “——— was enrolled in this battalion which volunteered for any kind of service at home or abroad. The battalion being refused by the War Office, though a thousand doctors said the, men were fit to go through a campaign.— Signed, etc.”

   Well, Mr. Editor, we can at least walk about feeling proud to think we are not one of the shirkers although over 45, neither need we blush with shame when we hear anyone recite the following lines:—


So Kitchener plans in his London town,

   French is Standing at bay,

Jellicoe’s ships ride up and down,

   Holding the sea’s highway.


And you that loaf where the skies are blue,

   And play by a petticoat hem;

These are the men that are fighting for you,

   What are you doing for them?


Bravo, then, to the men who fight,

   To hell with the men who play;

It’s fight to the end for honour and friends,

   It’s a fight for our lives to-day.


   Poor us, and still the posters announce “Your King and Country Need You.” Wouldn’t it be better to announce “A Grand Sale of Red Tape,” for full particulars apply at the War Office.”— Yours, etc.,



Canterbury Arms,

              Upper Marsh, Lambeth, S.E.

15/5/1915 The World’s Fair





12/6/1915 The World’s Fair
Photo reproduced by kind permission of
The World’s Fair Ltd.



   Edward Charles Pablo is one of the “decrepit” old men (of the “45 and over” battalion organised by E. S. Day, Esq., of Rowlands Castle, Hants.) who were refused by the War Office, although a thousand doctors said the men were fit to go through a campaign.

12/6/1915 The World’s Fair 


   Mr. Edward Charles Pablo, son of the late Pablo Fanque, circus proprietor, although over the time limit, had now achieved his desire and joined the Army. It will be remembered that Pablo was one of the men who worked hard to get a battalion of “Old Tough Uns” but which was unsuccessful. However, where there’s a will there’s a way and our friend is now Pte. E. C. Pablo 124931, 354 Co.,A.S.C., stationed at Stockcross, Newling, Berks. As Pablo states there are a few of the old brigade in his regiment, and on Saturday last one of these, Pte. Kershaw, of Pablo’s regiment called at our offices and we were glad to welcome him.

7/8/1915 The World’s Fair





   A marriage of an interesting nature took place at the Registry office, Walworth Road, Southwark, on Monday last, when Private Edward Charles Pablo, son of the late Pablo Fanque, circus proprietor, was married to Miss Howard, daughter of the late Alexandra Howard, civil engineer, of Hanley. Amongst those present were Mr. Jack Nicholas (of Iron Jaw fame), now proprietor of Sportsland, 140, Lower Marsh, Lambeth; Prof. Herbert Hall, tattoo artist; and Professor and Mrs. Etheridge (of performing dogs fame). The event is one that may be called a lightning marriage, as four weeks ago it was not even in the prospective. After obtaining his O.C.’s permission Pablo had the banns published in Southwark and Berks. Then he was transferred from Berks to Aldershot, and, securing permission from the O.C. there for three days leave, he was married on Monday morning and was back in camp at Aldershot at 6-30 in the evening.

16/10/1915 The World’s Fair



   Private E. C. Pablo, 124391, A.S.C., writes from Cornwall Hall Hospital V.A.D., Sevenoaks, Kent:- “You will no doubt be surprised to hear that whilst out in France I got the royal order to K. O., resulting in Fractured ribs, Concussion, Spine Damaged, Chest Crushed, and Internal Rupture, etc. ( not so bad to be going on with) I was in the 3rd Canadian Hospital Bologne for two weeks, Then they brought me to England and put me in a “Gilbertian” sort of hospital at

Chatham. They called it a clearing station, and I don’t mind telling you I was d____ glad to clear out – after three days – and now I am here, where they’re doing me well. I was a bit upset when I got my papers for “Blighty” and saw they had endorsed them “ unfit for further service, “ as I did hope to go back to my company (32nd Co., 2nd “L” Section) , but as the Canadian captain said, “Dad, you’ve done your bit, and put the young shirkers to shame, and it’s real plucky of you to have faced it,” and when I come to think of it they were right by endorsing my papers as they did, as “I’m all broken up.” I’ve been in four hospitals and seen some. Well, when I get my ticket “which may be for years and it may be for never,” as you must know the War Office has not yet disposed of all it’s red tape) I must look around to see who’s going to give a permanent position to this broken old showman – Variety, – Circus- Theatrical-Soldier – Edward Charles Pablo, son of the late Pablo Fanque, circus proprietor.”

1/4/1916 The World’s Fair