It's perhaps not quite as slick as WhizBang, which is what I have been using so far in The Rainbow Orchid, but it does have a slightly more hand-lettered look, which I prefer, and, more importantly, it is my own style of lettering. It's also slightly clearer and a little bigger. I'll probably be tweaking it further over the next few weeks, but here it is for now.
Harvey is a model aviator and agreed to make a model of the scarce Breguet 280T that appears in The Rainbow Orchid. It's going to be very useful indeed, as for the Egmont book (part one) I will be slightly expanding the scene where the plane takes off from Cherbourg (and one other scene is getting some extra material too). It's so skilfully made, I'm totally delighted with it - massive thanks to Harvey for such super work.
Mid-morning I met up with Sarah McIntyre (of Vern and Lettuce fame, for one thing) and also with Ellen Lindner (of Whores of Mensa and Little Rock Nine fame, for two things). So I had tea with two very distinguished London-based American comic creators, at a distinguished, if over-priced, café - Maison Bertaux. And then we marched off to the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square for a quick look round - a wondrous place, and one to which I must return when I've more than an hour to spare. Below is a very quick sketch I did in answer to Sarah's marvellous Teapod drawing of a few weeks ago.
In the evening, having now met up with Elyssa, I went to the French Institute in Kensington for one of Paul Gravett's terrific Comica events, in this case a talk and interview with two of France's most interesting auteurs: Ted Benoit, who has just seen his 1996 Blake & Mortimer adventure (in collaboration with Jean Van Hamme) published in English, and Emmanuel Guibert, who's work I know from the sublime The Professor's Daughter, and he has just had his book, Alan's War, published in English too. It was an excellent couple of hours, and I may just cheat and point you to Sarah's far more observant report right here. With Elyssa on a magazine deadline, we had to rush away to catch the train home, but I had a lovely day away from the drawing board, and in most excellent company.
The above postcard was written from my great grandfather while he was on service in Germany in 1919 as a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps. He was writing to my gran (second from the right) when she was 6 - she died just last year, aged 93. He addressed it to "My Bonnie wee auburn haired lassie, Maggie" and says:
"Well my Hen, can you read yet? Have you learned anymore songs? If so I'll be needing you to let me hear them all when Daddy gets home. You'll be having rare fun now. No lessons and play all day. Ta ta xxx Daddy."
Peter McDougall Cameron returned to civilian life later that year to work as a chauffeur in Dundee. Sadly he died only four years later when a routine operation on his appendix went wrong. His last son, David, was born a few months later.
You can see a page dedicated on my website here, with Commonwealth War Graves Commission links for each name [update 2018: it currently contains 31 names]. Not all of these men have been fully researched yet, but one of the latest I have learned about is the last on that alphabetical list, Andrew Phillip Stewart, who was the second eldest son of my gg-aunt Betsy. He is also the only relative I know of (so far) who won a gallantry award, the Military Cross.
Andrew was born in Glasgow in June 1896 to Samuel Stewart (a gymnastics instructor and teacher) and Betsy Phillip (who had worked in her father's home-run market garden store before getting married). When the war came he was already a Private in the 5th Scottish Rifles, and after joining the Expeditionary Force worked his way up to Lieutenant in the 9th King's Own Scottish Borderers. As far as his MC goes, I have found the citation in a supplement to the London Gazette from July 1918, but as yet have no real context (or date) for the action...*
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in a difficult rearguard action, when his tactical handling of men caused the enemy to suffer heavy casualties and enabled his own men to withdraw with a minimum of loss. He was wounded just as the last remnant of his command had reached safety."
*Edit: I have since discovered this event took place at Combles on 24 March 1918 and the MC was awarded posthumously.
Andrew was invalided home, and after his recovery he made his way to Ireland where he accidentally drowned while bathing in Loch Corrib on 2nd June 1918. He is buried in the Western Necropolis of Glasgow Cemetery. There is a great photograph of Andrew that I came across in my late great-auntie Jean's photo album, which I saw for the first time a few months ago, showing him wearing one of the emergency issue winter goat-skin coats (also known as 'woolly bears') that were first issued in the winter of 1914-15. His cap badge shows this was taken when he was with the Scottish Rifles.
Through researching Andrew, I discovered that his elder brother, Henry (known as Harry) also died in the war, being killed at Gallipoli, while serving with the 5th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, on 14 July 1915.