Friday, May 8, 2015

Illingworth’s Genius on VE Day 1945

1945 [1] Illingworth’s VE Day cartoon, Daily Mail, 8 May.

TODAY is the day of Victory Europe in England, VE Day 70. Seventy years ago Hitler and the Nazis were defeated by the Allies, and London went out on the street again free. World War II was finally won. 

L.G. ILLINGWORTH, Welsh-born staff artist of the Daily Mail, published a memorable cartoon that day. He had drawn war cartoons for years, especially in Punch and the Daily Mail, and he knew long before that liberation day would come. 

1945 [2] It’s all over… The VE Day front-page of the London Daily Mail, No. 15,290 of Tuesday 8 May, price: one penny. Illingworth’s large cartoon is on the reverse, on page 2.
Enjoy Illingworth’s wartime genius!

1944 [3] Christmas 1944 in the US. Americans are busy shopping. By Illingworth, 23 December.
1945 [4] The war in Poland. By Illingworth, 15 January.
1940s [5] Leslie Gilbert Illingworth (1902-79), a little self-portrait.
1939 [6] “Why not an offensive today?…” By Illingworth, 2 November.
1939 [7] “Why so startled, Fuhrer? Don’t you recognize one of your first members of the party?…” By Illingworth, 10 November.
1940 [8] Neutrality. By Illingworth, 22 January.
1940 [9] A surprise for breakfast. By Illingworth, 27 January.
1940 [10] Careless listening costs lives. By Illingworth, 27 March — “with apologies to Fougasse.”
1943 [11] The Dogs of War. By Illingworth, 2 September.
1943 [12] Where is Hitler? By Illingworth, 15 March.
1943 [13] Donkeys spread rumours. By Illingworth, 11 September.
1944 [14] Here lies the German general staff. By Illingworth, 6 October.
1944 [15] Hitler’s special excursion to victory. By Illingworth, 31 July.
1950s [16] Leslie Gilbert Illingworth, self-portrait on scraperboard.
1970s [17] Little self-portrait.

The genius of Illingworth is best illustrated in the 4,563 cartoons held in The National Library of Wales (most of the pictures shown above come from it), an incredible collection, for the larger part original art, HERE — just start searching for ‘Illingworth.’

See Tony Robinson’s Victory in Europe, a brand new documentary on Discovery Channel, HERE.

And see VE Day in numbers, HERE.

Thanks to Brian Hughes from
Surbiton, Surrey (1937-2010),
who cut out and saved Illingworth’s 
Daily Mail’s VE Day cartoon
as a young lad. 

Reported by Huib van Opstal.

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