Carl Giles was born in Islington, north London, on 29 September 1916. His father, Albert Giles, was a tobacconist, and his mother was the daughter of a Norfolk farmer. Leaving school aged fourteen, his early training was in animation and eventually moved into cartoons working for Reynolds News, then for the Sunday Express and Daily Express in 1943, eventually replacing Strube.
In 1945 he became the Daily Express "War Correspondent Cartoonist" with the 2nd Army. Giles was best known for his Express "family", which first appeared in a published cartoon on 5 August 1945, and had enormous popular appeal and in 1959 he was awarded the OBE. Giles parted company with the Daily Express in 1989 but continued working for the Sunday Express until 1991. Giles died in hospital in Ipswich, Suffolk, on 27 August 1995. A full biography.....
The following are glimpses into Giles' life based material from the Giles Collection, his personal archive donated to the British Cartoon Archive in 2005.
- Childhood - Giles’ origins, and early life in London.
- School and “Chalky” - Schooldays in Norwich and London, and Giles’ infamous teacher Mr Chalk.
- Animation and freelance - Giles’ first jobs in cartoon animation studios in London and Ipswich.
- Reynolds News - First newspaper work with Reynolds News from 1937 to 1943.
- Express Newspapers - Giles’ transfer to the Sunday Express in 1943, and the spread of his cartoons to the Daily Express.
- War correspondent - Giles’ employment as the Daily Express “official war cartoonist” in 1944 and 1945.
- The genesis of the Giles Family - Giles loses his cast of wartime characters, and creates the “Giles family” as a replacement.
- The Giles Family - Early days - The beginnings of the Giles Family, and its move from working class to middle class.
- The Giles Family - Final version - The classic Giles Family characters, and their popularity.
- The origins of Grandma - Giles’ creation of his most famous character.
- Grandma and Giles - Was Grandma in fact Giles himself?
- Giles at work - Sending the cartoons - Giles’ working day as a cartoonist.
- Making the annuals - How Giles compiled the million-selling annuals.
- Charities and societies - Giles’ cartoon work outside his contract with Express.
Carl Giles Archive 5849 original artwork, pulls, sketches, annuals, Christmas cards, studio contents, awards, correspondence, reference pictures, photographs.
The Carl Giles Archive can be browsed via the British Cartoon Archive catalogue under collection reference CG.