Simple at first glance, the picture that you see, at one time, for branding a Christmas card, English s rugby union ordered not to anyone else, but the great cartoonist Cyril Kenneth Byrd.
However, we are sure that even many fans of the genre will not immediately realize who it is. Unless the experts will immediately recall that there was such an editor of the famous “Punch” (1949-53). By the way, oddly enough, but he became the only artist who ever headed the editorial office of this magazine.
But it is difficult to find a fan of cartoons who would not know the drawings with the signature of Fougasse. They have become a real classic and an example of the genre, and their author, for propaganda and propaganda posters during the Second World War, received the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire. So – Fougasse and Cyril Bird are one person.
The story of his transformation into a professional artist and the emergence of a sonorous pseudonym is noteworthy. The fact is that during the First World War, being already an accomplished 27-year-old gentleman, a professional engineer, he decided to go to the front. For about a year, fate kept the young officer, and then 1915 came and he, along with many other sappers of the Royal Corps of Engineers, was sent to ensure the success of the Dardanelles operation – without good fortifications, the strategists of His Majesty King George’s headquarters could not have dreamed of it (although at first very much even dreamed).
As you know, the case for the British troops ended in defeat, and for Bird personally – with a serious wound, after which he was dismissed from the army. So – while still lying in the hospital, Cyril began to draw caricatures to distract himself from the sad thoughts. It was time to say that, despite his “serious” education, he was by no means self-taught in the field of fine arts. While still a student at King’s College London, he, in parallel, studied at the school of photo engraving and attended art courses.