Saturday 21 May 2016

Happy Birthday Frank Bellamy....

Kettering Leader and Guardian 1955 Nov 11 p.3

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, Wednesday Feb 15 1939, p4
Frank Bellamy was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire 99 years ago today.  As a special treat I'm sharing some of his earliest known work published in the local newspaper and also an article about him. Unfortunately the latter has a few errors.

The first is from the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, Wednesday Feb 15 1939 and shows some rough sketches Lance-Corporal Bellamy submitted with a report on his 'actions'. Bellamy did lots of cartoon work whilst in the Blamire Studio in Kettering, so these sketches reflect this humorous turn.  Obviously this helps us see that Bellamy started his National Service some time around the beginning of 1939. Unfortunately I would have to be a member of the family to request his Army record to confirm exactly when, but this is closer than I previously had.

Interestingly he is not credited as Lance Bombardier, (the Royal Artillery equivalent of Lance Corporal, the lowest Non-Commissioned Officer grade i.e. one above a Gunner (Private)). I'm not that au fait with Army ranks so need help here. Am I missing something? He went on to become Corporal and by the time he left the Army, after the Second World War, he was a Sergeant.

Click to enlarge

Bellamy writes and draws in 1939
The second clip comes from when Bellamy had established himself and comes from the local paper Kettering Leader and Guardian 11 November 1955 and is titled "R.A. praises local artist". This refers top the much quoted fact that Sir William Russell Flint, the brilliant watercolourist was very impressed with Bellamy's illustration in Everybodys Weekly (published 1 October 1955 - click here for more details). 

Kettering Leader and Guardian 1955 Nov 11 p.3
The article is spot on except, to my knowledge, when it mentions he illustrated Girl comic, the sister paper to Eagle and Swift - which he did strips in. I'm hoping someone out there proves me wrong as I'm always looking for more Bellamy!

Anyway, have fun reading these - and remember you can see Russell Flint's version of the dancers he mentions at the above link - thanks to the wonderful Jim Vadeboncoeur.

Happy Birthday Frank, you are missed!

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