|With apologies to Peter Tory,
most of the facts on this page are gleaned from his excellent book Giles:
A Life In Cartoons which I thoroughly recommend you go out and buy if you
like Giles. ISBN 0-7472-0678-3
Giles During the War
Ronald Giles was born, next
door to a pub at the Angel Islington, London, England on September 29th
He was christened Ronald but
soon had a nickname of Karlo, from some uncharitable friends, because of
his likeness to horror film actor Boris Karloff. Karlo was then shortened
to Carl and the rest is history.
Giles described himself in the
first Giles annual answering the question 'What is Giles like?' with 'Well
in a crowd he could hide as a man of no importance'
Giles left school at the age
of fourteen and found employment as an office boy, and then as an animator
on cartoon films. He was paid ten shillings a week.
At eighteen Giles moved to
work at Elstree for Alexander Korda. He was an animator on the full length
film - The Fox Hunt. The project was never properly completed and has only
been shown briefly at London's Curzon cinema.
Giles had an accident on a
Panther 600 motorcycle. He is incapacitated for nearly a year, with a
fractured skull and damage to his drawing hand.
In 1937 Giles moved to London
to be with his mother after the death of his older brother. He was offered
employment at Reynolds News - A left wing Sunday paper.
Giles married his cousin,
Joan, in 1942. Pictures were taken by someone at Reynolds News, but they
didn't come out.
In the Summer of 1943 Giles
was approached by the Daily Express and subsequently joined them for the
princely sum of 20 guineas a week.
first Giles cartoon appeared in the Express on October 3rd 1943.
The Giles Family first
appeared, in prototype form, on 5th August 1945.
Giles didn't like being
interviewed, and so there are hardly any television or radio programs
featuring Giles. If you asked him about himself he usually says 'grk'
Giles hated level crossings
and their keepers, and the railway system in general. There are many
cartoons on these subjects.
Giles received an OBE in 1959.
The Royal family have, as well
as many private sketches, at least 36 Giles originals. All were specially
There were approximately 7500
official Giles cartoons. But many, many more private sketches, charity Christmas
cards, and even a calendar for Guinness.
12th 2000 - The Daily Express announces that Giles has been voted Britain's
Favourite Cartoonist of the 20th Century. Giles topped a poll of over 1000
cartoonists and enthusiasts, beating David Low (Colonel Blimp) and Gerald
Scarfe into second and third places respectively.
the article on the Express Website
If you have any facts / stories about Giles you would
like to share I will be quite happy to publish them here.
An older Giles
Carl Giles died in 1995 aged 78