As part of the First World War effort, the
British Red Cross Society and The Order of the
Hospital of Saint John held art sales at the
auction house Christie's.
Frustrated by delicate health, Florence was found
unfit to serve in any physical capacity during the
First World War. So, she satisfied her
determination to help out by donating to the third
fund-raising auction for the Red Cross, conducted
by Christies in 1917.
The Golliwog Ambulance, 1917
The lot included the complete set of original drawings
for eleven of the Golliwogg and Dutch Doll books, the
manuscripts for four of the books, and a glass case which
contained the original dolls owned by Upton - Golliwogg,
Peggy, Sarah Jane, Meg, Weg, and The Midget.
The catalogue features a special note under the lot which
stated: 'Golliwogg was the creation of Miss Florence
Upton, and the doll in this lot is the original from which
all Golliwoggs were taken'.
Despite Florence's misgivings that the items would not
sell, because the dolls and hundreds of drawings were
catalogued to be sold as one lot, the lot was indeed
purchased for a considerable amount. In the April 1917
edition of The Red Cross: The Official Journal of the
British Red Cross Society, the organisation confirmed that
'Miss Florence Upton's Famous Golliwog collection fetched
450 Guineas (£472.50) at Christie's Sale.'
The money realised from the sale of Florence Upton's
drawings purchased and equipped an ambulance, aptly
christened ‘Golliwogg’, which went to the front and served
in France during the First World War.
Golly also made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second
World War. In 1939 the long-running series of popular
Robertson's Jam badges was discontinued because the metal
was needed for the war effort, but by 1946 the Golly