Remembering Vegetarian Pioneers – George Bedborough & friends

99 years old plant-eating identical twins! – The Ernest Bell Memorial Library

Post By John Edmundson

2 book covers

These wonderful vegetarian-themed children’s story books have survived for 99 years – but their original owners were less fortunate.

Title: Stories from the Children’s Realm
Author: George Bedborough
Publisher: Vegetarian Federal Union
Publication Date: 1914

We are very, very fortunate to be looking after these 2 copies in our Ernest Bell Library. What makes them even more special is that both copies are inscribed by the author, George Bedborough.

Having them side-by-side brought the word ‘twins’ to mind.

Stories from the Children’s Realm is an exceedingly rare book. Copac lists only one other copy in The British Library. (Note 1)

We will write more about George Bedborough in future articles. He is well remembered for his famous court case. His vegetarian writings have largely been forgotten.

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One copy was presented by George Bedborough to the vegetarian artist & author Lawrence Ambrose Hayter – probably in 1914. The book also contains several examples of Lawrence’s artwork!



We already have 30+ of Lawrence’s cartoons / drawings & 3 of his children’s stories in issues of the Vegetarian Federal Union’s children’s magazine – The Children’s Realm. Plus one story co-authored with Gerald William Bullett.

Lawrence was the main illustrator of The Children’s Realm – from 1908.  He was a very talented & dedicated vegetarian artist!

In our library we have a complete run of The Children’s Realm from its launch in 1906 to the end of 1912 on loan to us – 84 monthly issues.  They are a treasury of information of early vegetarian activism.

Lawrence’s date of birth we do not know – but in a circa 1910 photo he looks no older than 16.

So perhaps he was 23 / 24 when he died!

~ Lawrence Ambrose Hayter, Private 32129, 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 30th December 1917 in France & Flanders. Born Upper Holloway, Middlesex, enlisted Bedford, resident Letchworth. Buried in KLEIN-VIERSTRAAT BRITISH CEMETERY, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot I. Row H. Grave 8. ~ (Note – 2)


The second copy was presented by George Bedborough to Gilbert Ruay Cufflin.

Ruay also died in 1917.

~ Gilbert Ruay Cufflin, Private 28668, 13th Battalion East Surrey Regiment, was killed in action at Bourlon Village, France on 26 November 1917. He has no marked grave but his name is included on Panel 6 of the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, France. ~ (Note-3)

Ruay married Elsie Emmie Olley in 1913 – they had a son – Laurie Gilbert Olley Cufflin 1914-1983.

The surname Ruay is common in Sudan – Ruay’s father is believe to have ” …….spent some time in the Army, supposedly in the 5th Queen’s Royal Lancers, served in the Sudan, was ship-wrecked in the Mediterranean on on his way home, and was employed in the wine-trade at the time of his death…” (Note 4)

This copy also has the bookplate of the textile artist Liv Hassel. She is listed as being born in 1917, Liv Hassel was one of the many designers associated with the famous Norwegian artist’s colony Plus Design in Fredrikstad, Norway between the years 1958 – 1978. (Note-5)

We found this book in Norway.


A. M. Cole’s Preface


Below is - a contemporary review of “Stories from the Childrens’ Realm” by George Bedborough which appeared in – Good Health magazine in March 1914. It was posted underneath a review of Henry S. Salt’s book – “The Humanities of Diet.”.

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Stories About Animals.

~ ALL children are interested in hearing about animals and we therefore welcome “Stories from the Childrens’ Realm” by George Bedborough. This book is especially written for those children who love animals, and have learned how to treat them kindly. In the preface we are told that the author “wants the children to be kind to each other and to animals.” Kindness to all is the message of this interesting little book of 100 pages, and we take pleasure in commending it to our readers. The price is 6d. net, or 7d. post free.  The book, which contains numerous most interesting illustrations, is published by the Vegetarian Federal Union, Memorial Hall, Farringdon St., London, E.C. ~


In the weeks to come we will write more about the animal friendly activities of :

The Ernest Bell Library

The Childrens’ Realm magazine.

George Bedborough

Lawrence A. Hayter

Gerald William Bullett

The Vegetarian Federal Union

Miss A. M. Cole

….and other vegetarians & animal rights pioneers.




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About John Edmundson

Working to promote vegan businesses since 1978. Henry S. Salt Archive - researcher & fundraiser. The Humanitarian League - researcher & fundraiser. The Ernest Bell Library - archive manager. Collecting & republishing historical material of vegetarianism and other humanitarian movements. Running the 'Hum-an-imal Badge Co.'.
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