03 March 2023

Cartoonist and jazz musician Wally Fawkes dies aged 98

03 March 2023

The political cartoonist and jazz musician Wally Fawkes, who used the pen name Trog, has died at the age of 98.

Fawkes died peacefully on Wednesday following a short illness.

He was born in 1924 in Vancouver, Canada, and came to the UK seven years later.

Illness prevented him serving in the Second World War and, when he was not working camouflaging factories or on Coal Commission maps, he played jazz in bomb shelters.

He was warm, funny and thoughtful. Everybody adored him

This led to him being nicknamed Trog – short for a troglodyte, a person who lives in a cave.

In the 1950s, he played alongside Humphrey Lyttleton, who he met at art school soon after the war, as well as Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong.

At the same time, he was building his career as a cartoonist under Leslie Illingworth’s wing at the Daily Mail, where he went on to create the Flook strip which ran from 1949 to 1985.

The strip, which provided satirical commentary on contemporary life, had a stellar cast of co-writers including Lyttleton, singer George Melly, TV presenter and film critic Barry Norman and author Keith Waterhouse.

He was political cartoonist for the Observer from 1971 to 1985, followed by a stint at the Sunday Telegraph, until failing eyesight forced his retirement at the age of 81.

He was named Political Cartoonist Of The Year in 2004.

His daughter, Johanna Fawkes, told the PA news agency that her father was “absolutely charming”.

She added: “He was warm, funny and thoughtful. Everybody adored him.”

His marriage to Sandy Fawkes produced four children, with Johanna, Kate and Jamie surviving.

He is also survived by his second wife Susan Clifford with whom he had two children, Lucy and Daniel.

He also had five grandchildren – Leah, Flynn, Ruby, Ivy and Jamie.

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