21st April 1934.

The Cartoon depends on the particularly human characteristic of stereotyping, which today has largely given way to political correctness.

Today in 1934 the cartoonist David Low, started his Topical Budget, a weekly commentary on British life: it ran for nearly six years.



Low described himself as a ‘nuisance dedicated to sanity’, and organised an entire page using single gags based on timely events and gossip, strip cartoons and invariably exhortations from Colonel Blimp.(1)

In World War II, David Low, in the London Evening Standard, was famous for satirising Hitler, which resulted in the German Ambassador von Ribbentrop being sent to complain to the British Foreign Secretary.


This cartoon tradition was followed in the Daily Express, by Osbert Lancaster, portraying the upper classes with Maudie and William Littlehampton. The ‘Pocket Cartoon’ below shows the opening of the Historic Houses season.

Giles’ cartoons were concerned with the ‘lower orders’, featuring Grannie and family. The one below showing, in post-war austerity, how the parrot could be at risk for Christmas dinner. 



More up to date the Daily Telegraph has ‘Matt’, who was voted cartoonist of the year in the 2000 Press Awards.

Cartoons began in the 18th century with the likes of Hogarth and his anti-French picture, ‘The Roast Beef of Old England’. Then came Gillray with his anti-foreigner 1803 cartoon, showing a group of fat Germans eating sauerkraut and sausages.

They were later seen as pipe smoking, beer drinking, eccentric professors, which morphed later, when they were deemed a threat, into the Prussian spiked-helmeted Bismarck, and the Kaiser.

The Japanese were always portrayed as little yellow men, short-sighted, and as having protuberant teeth.

The first cartoon to appear in a magazine was in John Almon’s, Political Register, London, and Bell’s, New Weekly Messenger, is said to be the first to publish cartoons in an English paper on 8th January 1832 with an unsigned, ‘The Unknown Tongue’, concerned with the English Reform Bill.(3)

The 1840s was to see the arrival of the satirical Punch Magazine, which explored, in cartoons, the political news of the day.

(1) It ran in the Evening Standard until March 16th 1940.

(2a) Giles (1916-1995), began in the Express 3.10.1942.

(2b) Lancaster (1908-1986),

(3) In 1834 Bell’s were advertising using walking placards with trumpets proclaiming: ‘All the Almanacs are given away with Bell’s Weekly Messenger’.

Ref: Col Blimp’s England History Today Vol 34 Issue 10th October 1984 Peter Mellini.

Ref: Col Blimp’s England Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger powell-press burger.org/reviews/43_blimp.

Ref: wikipedia.org/articles on the above cartoonists and also Pic Refs.




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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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