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Humph Humphrey Lyttelton (1921- 2008)

Humphrey Lyttelton 'Humph' original cartoon artwork

Lyttelton was the second son of the Hon. George Lyttelton, a housemaster at the school, and cousin of the 10th Viscount Cobham, Lyttelton came, he said, from “a long line of land-owning, political, military, clerical, scholastic and literary forebears.” Lyttelton went to Eton, and bought his first trumpet in 1936, after slipping away from the annual Eton-Harrow cricket match at Lord’s. In June 1941 Lyttelton enlisted in the Brigade of Guards and went to Sandhurst, receiving a commission five months later. He saw action in Italy where he recalled landing at Salerno with his pistol in one hand and his trumpet in the other (John Jones - the cartoonist JON - was one of the landing officers at Salerno). In 1946 Lyttelton, took advantage of a grant to go to art school. “When I got out of the army I was 25 and didn't feel like going back to anything very academic,” he recalled, “so I went to Camberwell School of Art for a couple of years and round about the same time started playing jazz in various low dives.” In March 1947 Lyttelton and Wally Fawkes 'Trog', a clarinettist who was also studying part-time at Camberwell, joined the George Webb Dixielanders, a semi-professional band of New Orleans-style jazz revivalists.

In January 1948 Lyttelton left the Dixielanders to form his own band, and took Wally Fawkes with him. Humphrey Lyttelton and His Band, with Wally Fawkes on clarinet, soon became the leading traditional jazz band in Britain. In 1949 Trog began drawing the “Flook” strip for the paper, and, as Lyttelton recalled, "tipped me the wink that the job of column breaker would soon be vacant." Lyttelton, who had got married the previous year, got the job, and chose the signature “Humph” for his cartoons. However, in 1953 Lyttelton gave up cartooning to become a professional musician, although he continued to write storylines for “Flook” for another three years.