British Cartoon Archive


Les Barton was born on 8 December 1923 in Wareham, Dorset. A self-taught artist, he started work at the age of fourteen as a telegraph clerk. His first published cartoon appeared in the Militant Miner in 1944. During World War II he served as a draughtsman in the Royal Signals and War Office Signals and produced his first regular cartoons for WAM (West African Magazine) when stationed in Lagos in 1946.

After the war Les Barton worked as a photographic retouching artist and commercial artist in advertising, and also drew strips for IPC and D. C. Thomson children's comics - including "Billy Bunter", "I Spy" and "Harry's Haunted House." Barton - who signed his early work "Lezz" - was a regular contributor to Punch from 1954, and his work has appeared in Reveille, Private Eye, Spectator, Oldie, Daily Mirror and the Daily Sketch.

Barton drew political cartoons and caricatures for The Statist in 1963 and 1964, and during the Falkands War in 1982 he was staff war artist on the Sun. He also designed humorous greetings cards for Camden Graphics, Rainbow Cards and Cardtoons. He died in Hayes, Middlesex, on 20 October 2008.

  • Mark Bryant Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000), p.13-14.
  • Mark Bryant "Les Barton - Cartoonist and illustrator", The Independent, 22 November 2008, p.50.



6 unaccessioned originals



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