Monday, 15 July 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Playing for the School

Frontispiece for Playing for the school
"His left flashed out like a sword
and took Brede fairly on the point of the jaw"

Playing for the school by Jack Heming was published in 1936 by Sampson, Low, Marston & Company Limited. The blurb for the book reads:
Brookwood School was in a bad way but the new games master and a new boy, Monty Carlin, revolutionise the school in a way that is full of thrills and fun
Raymond Sheppard drew the two illustrations in the book which are in black and white. My copy of the book has the second image loose so I can't say where it appears normally. This book is quite rare and I have never, in many years of research, seen a dust-jacket for it. If you by any chance have one I'd love to see it.

I have to confess to not enjoying boys' school stories and also never being a fan of cricket, I have not read the book.  The wonderful Robert J. Kirkpatrick has drawn up a short biography of Heming which I quote here, from The Encyclopaedia of Boys' School Stories, p.168:

Jack Heming was a versatile boy's writer who could turn his hand to school, flying, circus and adventure stories with equal aplomb. Little is known about his life other than he served in both world wars, firstly in the Royal Naval Air Service between 1914 and 1918, and in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve between 1939 and 1945. In between, he was, for a time, managing Editor of the Jersey Morning News. 
His one school story, originally published in 1936, was Playing for the school. Interestingly its setting was Rockwood School, a name already familiar to readers of Owen Conquest's (i.e. Charles Hamilton), stories in the Boys' Friend and elsewhere, which had started running some 21 years earlier. (Oddly the dustwrappers - of both the original edition and the later 1961 reprint - referred to 'Brookwood' School)
Playing for the school is a lively mixture of sport (mainly cricket) and humour. the school is at a low ebb, with no interest in games, and there is a plot to ruin it by financiers, anxious to develop the land on which it is built. A new games Master and a new pupil turn things around, and    the Cricket XI goes form strength to strength, thereby saving the school. Light relief is provided by a group of young would-be inventors, but this merely provides a series of diversions from the real story, which is fast paced and reasonably authentic. 

Unnumbered page from Playing for the school
"Amazing scenes followed
- a crowd of boys surged and catching up Monty Carlin
carried him shoulder high to the dressing room"
After the 250 pages of the story, there appears a 40 page publisher's catalogue for children - here's the first page, which conveniently starts with Heming himself, from which I copied my opening line for this article.

First two pages of the catalogue

Professor Stephen Bigger has a fascinating couple of articles on Heming, whose wife, Dorothy Eileen Marsh was a prolific writer with many pen-names. As Stephen writes:

Eileen unfortunately died early, in 1948, having brought up four children as well as writing 120 books. Jack later wrote after Eileen's death under her pen-names for a few volumes between 1948 and 1960

Read more about Dorothy here and about Heming and his wife here and the Air Adventure series. which I have listed below. Prof. Bigger also published his 2018 paper online WW2 Women Fliers in Fiction
And I shall leave it there because I see Steve Holland has tried to untangle some of the dynasty of Heming writers in his Forgotten Authors series and I can't compete with his thoroughness!

Finally Playing for the School was reissued in a shorter version by Purnell & Sons in 1961and here's the jacket for that one!

1961 Purnell version
Artist Unknown

BIBLIOGRAPHY (under Jack Heming)
  • The Air Circus.London: Sampson Low & Co, [1935]
  • The Air Treasure Hunt. London: Sampson Low & Co, [1935]
  • The Air Dope Hunters. London: A. & C. Black, 1936.
  • The Air Spies.London: A. & C. Black, 1936.
  • Playing for the School. London: Sampson, Low & Co, [1936]
  • The Desert Air Raider.London: A. & C. Black, 1936.
  • Blue Wings. London and New York: F. Warne & Co, [1938]
  • The Lost World of the Colorado.London and New York: F. Warne & Co, [1940]

I must thank Cathy of Pioneer Books for listing Sheppard as the artist and that started me on the track of this book which I have finally pinned down! Unfortunately Pioneer are no longer trading as of 1 July 2017 but Books Authors Titles of Melbourne, Australia also helped me and still have a copy as of July 2019.

PLEASE Booksellers there are people who collect books solely for the illustrations - PLEASE list artists!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Patrick by Diana M. Buttenshaw

Patrick by Diana M. Buttenshaw

Patrick - dustjacket
The story of a very young boy shipwrecked on an island who is rescued by his family's St Bernard dog and brought up by the dog and the wild animals of the island. He learns individual lessons from each animal whose language he also masters. He can run alongside the horse; hunt with the fox (only rabbits can be eaten); swim with the dolphin; play with the seal and leap like the goats.
After many years his island sees another shipwreck which eventually leads to his return to 'civilization' where he attends school, showing he is a top athlete and cricketer but also that he finds 'civilization's' ways strange and Patrick returns to the island, finding, in the interim some of his friends have died.

This delightful book was published in 1939 by Hodder and Stoughton and reviews were positive for what appears to be Buttenshaw's first book. The Guardian (October 27, 1939) states "The illustrations by Raymond Sheppard are in black and white, and give solidity and strength to the book".

Diana Marguerite Buttenshaw (c1919-2013) married Major William Byrde (Royal Engineers) and the Times of 9 March 2013 tells us she passed away "peacefully at home in her sleep on 2nd March 2013". The memorial service took place at Membury Parish Church (near Axminster, in Devon).

Searching around it appears that the Major might have been posted all over Europe as Diana's books all seem to take place in locations outside Britain, but I can't be sure of either fact, not having read them all! It looks as if their first daughter was born on October 20, 1948 in B.M.H. Hamburg, a military hospital and another, Clare Hilary Katharine, in 1954 (May 13) at Military Families Hospital, Chatham

Below are all the black and white illustrations that Sheppard had published in Patrick showing an early aptitude for framing his illustrations either through 'openness', half-open panels or frames. 

Young Patrick gets a lesson from Va the Eagle, p.9

Va, Alaric and Patrick see a shipwreck p.25

Patrick meets the strangers p.35

Patrick is brought some skins p.39

Patrick is happy p.49

Patrick rides Hross p.58

Seolh the seal says goodbye to Patrick p.70

Patrick caught "stealing" a marrow, p. 96

Patrick hunts for food p.107

The Head asks Patrick's friend to watch over him p. 120

Patrick begins to understand how to watch the cricket ball p. 137

Patrick beats the school champion p. 157

Patrick finds a new friend p. 166

Patrick wins the race p.171

Patrick asks the monkeys about their conditions p. 191

Rescuing a hunted fox p. 207

Patrick saves his school friend p. 213

A joyous greeting committee p. 241

Va and Patrick see a search party p.252

Patrick is happy to be left in peace p.266


  • Patrick ... Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard. London: Macmillan & Co, 1939.
  • The Sleeping Princess. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1941. "Real interest lies in the detail of life in Gibraltar"
  • Say not Good-Night. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1943. "paints a careful picture of the Andalusian coast and peoples it with some wholly improbable Spaniards of the school of W.J.Locke"
  • Dominic. Days in the life of a boy who lived in a forest. London: Frederick Muller, 1943.
  • The Villach Road.London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1947. A love story of Michael, an Englishman and Greta an Austrian farm girl
  • Pepito of Guadiaro ... Illustrated by Margaret Horder. London: Frederick Muller, 1948. "the eponymous boy, abandoned by his parents in the mountains in Andalucia; he's then rescued and raised by a donkey, a rabbit, a hare and a cat."
    Journey to Venice. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1949.
  • An Oak for Posterity. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1952. "Life with the occupation troops in Germany and the Tyrol form the background of this entertaining romance. There's excitement, too, in a wild chase after a kidnapped child through the bombed ruins of Hamburg, and an avalanche in the
  • Incident in Ismalia. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1953. "the author compensates for the slightness of the plot with an informed insight into the lives of the wives and families of men stationed in the
    Suez Canal zone"
  • The One Black Swan. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1955.
  • Chain of Command. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956
  • Violence in Paradise. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1957. "thinly veiled fictional island of 'Sophos', where an unholy alliance of Communists and clerics had formed the 'Szit' movement, fighting for 'Halitos' with the Motherland."

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Picture Post (Part Four)

International Artists present Raymond Sheppard

In the last three articles I've shown all Sheppard's illustrations accompanying stories, autobiographies, biographies and general articles. This time I'm concentrating on the last lot in Picture Post which is advertising. Now I don't want to give you the impression that these only appeared in Picture Post. They certainly didn't but here's a good as any place to include them for your pleasure!

The first one, of the ICI series, (I've written about ICI before) appears in the 12 December 1953 edition of Picture Post and is labelled "Buried Treasure", showing a cocker spaniel digging up a bone. The article talks about how the restriction on importing sulphuric acid from the USA lead to the home-grown solution taken from a rock called anhydrite. I wonder, is digging underground the connection between this issue and the cocker spaniel? The full text of the article is reproduced below for your interest.

Picture Post 12 December 1953 p.10

In Picture Post 3 April 1954 we see another of the ICI advertising columns which over that period had quite a few artists. "Waste not, want not" is the title of this one and talks about how a product created in one division of ICI may not be a total waste so all rejects are examined for alternate uses. I'm not sure why bees demonstrate this but the resultant image is gorgeous.

Picture Post 3 April 1954 p.10

Interestingly, the copywriters weren't very imaginative. I originally found the following in a copy of the Reader's Digest when clearing my late mother's house. Subsequently I saw the printer's proof that Christine Sheppard owned but also I've seen all three of these adverts in other magazines and papers all formatted differently - one column and two columns. The one below, although being the same text as the cocker spaniel above, has a terrier digging!

Reader's Digest January 1954 p112
Moving on to the other group of adverts that appeared - as far as I've tracked them so far! -The British Motor Corporation Limited. The company was formed in the early 1950s from a merger between Austin and Morris companies and at that time held nearly 40% of all British motor car production!

Picture Post 31 March 1956
"Getting through at 20 below"

In 1956 Sheppard produced three full page colour adverts for the company via the agency International Artists. On a tearsheet owned by Christine Sheppard, we see that the adverts appeared in a variety of magazines:

  1. March 31 1956 Illustrated London News (13 x 9 inches)
  2. March 22 1956 The Field (12 x 9 inches)
  3. March 31 1956 Illustrated (12 x 9 inches)
  4. March 31 1956 Picture Post (12 x 9 inches)
I also know it appeared in Country Life (29 March 1956). The adverts also ran on multiple weeks.

The above husky advert also appeared in a newspaper - here's the B&W version - I don't know which:

The second advert appeared in June 1956 and showed the elephant "Strength in the right place!" and appeared to my knowledge in the Illustrated London News (30 June 1956), Picture Post (16 June 1956) and Punch (6 June 1956)

Illustrated London News 30 June 1956
"Strength in the right place!"
And the third one drawn by Raymond Sheppard is of llamas with the caption "Roadholding is vital!". It certainly appeared in Illustrated London News (11 July 1956), Picture Post (14 and 28 July 1956)

Picture Post 14 July 1956
"Roadholding is vital!"
Finally I noticed when looking for other BMC adverts that the theme started earlier but was not illustrated by Sheppard (Picture Post 21 April 1956 "600,000 H.P. every week" shows a liner at sea)  and "Breeding comes out at extra speed" appeared showing a horse race - again not illustrated by Sheppard. I also found two 1960 adverts which are similar but not by Sheppard

Not a Sheppard illustration

Not a Sheppard illustration

Not a Sheppard illustration

There is another advert in the Picture Post which I'll save for another time

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Picture Post (Part Three)

Picture Post 24 October 1953 p20
John Bull steps into the soft drink era by Brian Dowling
It's difficult to tell if Sheppard created the photo/illustration montage or the background was dropped in by an editor, but the topic "John Bull steps into the soft drink era" describes how at the end of sugar rationing the war of soft drinks in the UK was about to hot up. The article's author Brian Dowling doubts that we are looking at a 'Coca-colonisation' - an early use of the phrase, I'm sure,  but "Four of America's biggest firms have consolidated their bridgeheads over here. But the British soft industry, with over 1,200 manufacturers is well established over here as it wasn't in other countries". Little did he know!

The Execution of Private Slovik by William Bradford Huie

This sweet image of Princess Anne belies
a terrible story mentioned on the cover!

Wikipedia tells us that Eddie Slovik's story is unique as "Although over 21,000 American soldiers were given varying sentences for desertion during World War II, including forty-nine death sentences, Slovik's death sentence was the only one that was carried out" - for purely military reasons (as opposed to rape, or murder).

Picture Post 19 June 1954 p16
Sheppard depicts this by showing 12 American soldiers aiming at their target on the 31 January 1945. This four page article shows photos of Slovik's marriage and shows his older brother who 2 years after Slovik's death married his widow. Wikipedia now tells us the conclusion of this story, where the widow fought till her death in 1979 for a pardon and for the remains to be shipped back to the USA. The latter happened under Ronald Regan's term as President but the former have never happened.

The man with a scar by Somerset Maugham
Picture Post 14 August 1954 p31
This story by Maugham reads rather like a Hemingway short story. It tells of a Nicaraguan exile who begs at the bar in the Palace Hotel at Guatemala City. A fellow drinker with our narrator tells the story of how the beggar was lined up for the firing squad for being on the opposing side in a Nicaraguan coup and how he escaped that death. When asked, at the end of this exciting story, just how he came by the enormous scar on his face, the man explains "Oh, that was due to a bottle that burst when he has opening it. A bottle of ginger ale."

That brings us to end of Sheppard's illustrations for articles in the Picture Post. I've looked through every edition and the only other illustrations are shown in the next blog article.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Picture Post (Part Two)

Picture Post 12 September 1953 pp. 32-33
In Part One of my look at Raymond Sheppard's work for the Picture Post magazine we looked at some of the Cold War stories, and today we're looking at two flyers and their war and post-war exploits - Neville Duke and Leonard Cheshire.

Cover of Picture Post 5 Sept 1953 showing Mara Lane

Firstly this lovely double page spread from Picture Post 5 September 1953 showing Neville Duke narrowly avoiding barrage balloons in his Miles Master (a training two-seater first flown in 1939). Duke became a famous test pilot and achieved the world air speed record in 1953, the year we read his story in Picture Post.

Picture Post 5 September 1953 pp24-25
The second double-page spread is unusual in that the editor (in my opinion) has chosen to extend the parachute straps across the left hand page. It might be on the original so I could be wrong! Anyway we see Duke and two of his crash landings!

Picture Post 5 September 1953 pp26-27

Picture Post 5 September 1953 p26

In the following issue Duke continues his story and we see him test flying his Hawker Hunter skidding to a halt and a fire engine racing towards him.

Picture Post 12 September 1953 pp.32-33

The next image drawn by Sheppard shows "at the time of my first supersonic bang, one country policeman was feeding his chickens" and we can see the results!

Picture Post 12 September 1953 pp.34

The 19 September issue has the third part of his story and shows Duke's admission that "I learned a sharp lesson", when he flew his Hawker N7/46, the prototype Seahawk at the 1949 Farnborough Air Show and relexed his guard a little too much nearly stalling the sircraft whilst inverted!

Picture Post 19 September 1953 p38-39
Now I'm skipping a few issues (saving the odds and ends for the next article in this series) and we're now looking at another famous post-war flyer. I quote Wikipedia:
Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO & Two Bars, DFC (7 September 1917 – 31 July 1992) was a highly decorated Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot and group captain during the Second World War, and a philanthropist.
Among the honours Cheshire received as a pilot was the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was the youngest group captain in the RAF and one of the most highly decorated pilots of the war.
After the war he founded a hospice that grew into the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. He became known for his work in conflict resolution. In 1991 he was created a life peer in recognition of his charitable work
Reading the Wikipedia page is quite amazing, how much of a life he lived!  The first two parts of his story are not illustrated by Sheppard so I'm concentrating on parts three and four here. Part Three entitled "How he won his first D.S.O." is written by Russell Braddon and he tells us:
Pilot Officer Cheshire was at the controls of a crippled bomber. A grotesque figure, uniform in flames, screamed at him: "Fire! The tank's on fire." "Well, put it out then", snapped  Cheshire, who took the plane onto bomb Cologne and win the first of his three D.S.Os.

Picture Post 22 May 1954 p36-37

As if the story of his turning the plane round and hitting his original target on return was not enough, Cheshire was also involved in observing the Nagasaki bomb drop. "Destroyer becomes a crusader" is the title of part 4 of his story by Braddon and the full page black and white wash hits you in the face on turning the page!

Picture Post 29 May 1954 p33
The caption for this image states: "From the rear gunner's turret of a Flying Fortress, Cheshire watched the destruction of Nagasaki".  In an interview (on Youtube) Cheshire admits that the pilot of his aircraft should have been at 30,000 - not 39,000 feet, and should have been 10 miles away from the drop zone - not 50 miles. Yet he describes how the bomb had symmetry and thus showed it had 'controlled power' unlike other explosives he encountered which were 'ragged'. The whole interview is astounding and one of the reasons I like blogging - the many "rabbit holes" I go down as well as extraordianry art.

Next time: Picture Post and advertising