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Bert Thomas MBE PS (1883-1966)

Bert Thomas, MBE PS (1883-1966)

Though Bert Thomas has become best known for his war cartoons – gaining a national reputation with one entitled ’Arf a mo’ Kaiser – he was wide ranging in his subjects and technically versatile.

The son of a monumental sculptor, Bert Thomas was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, on 13 October 1883. He was educated in Swansea and, at the age of 14, began to serve an apprenticeship to a commercial metal-engraver. At the same time, he sold music-hall cartoons to the Swansea Daily Leader, Daily Post, News and Echo. On the recommendation of the popular music-hall comedian, Albert Chevalier, he joined a London advertising agency in 1902. Greatly influenced by Phil May, he depicted urban society in lively broken line.

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