London: Punch, 1911. This original printed appearance of a Punch cartoon featuring Winston S. Churchill comes from the personal collection of Gary L. Stiles, author of Churchill in Punch (Unicorn Publishing Group, 2022). His book is the first ever effort to definitively catalog, describe, and contextualize all of the many Punch cartoons featuring Churchill.
This cartoon titled "Mr. Winston Churchill loses his Shepherd." appeared thus on p.421 of the 7 June 1911 issue of Punch. The artist is Leonard Raven-Hill. This cartoon is based on a fictitious programme for a musical to be presented to the new King George V and Queen Mary in the London theatre and to include at least 17 acts, including many politicians such as Winston Churchill, who will "give his well-known patter song:
Has lost her shepherd
And can't tell where they hide him;
Leave him alone
And he'll come home
With a whiskey-bottle inside him.
The cartoon of Churchill is based on a politically charged issue concerning the Dartmoor Shepherd, a man who was jailed for a small crime for many years. Churchill, as Home Secretary, had released him, only to see him commit more crime. Thus the tag on the lamb: "A present from Dartmoor."
Punch or The London Charivari began featuring Churchill cartoons in 1900, when his political career was just beginning. That political career would last two thirds of a century, see him occupy Cabinet office during each of the first six decades of the twentieth century, carry him twice to the premiership and, further still, into the annals of history as a preeminent statesman. And throughout that time, Punch satirized Churchill in cartoons – more than 600 of them, the work of more than 50 different artists.
It was a near-perfect relationship between satirists and subject. That Churchill was distinctive in both persona and physical appearance helped make him easy to caricature. To his persona and appearance he added myriad additional satirical temptations, not just props, like his cigars, siren suits, V-sign, and hats, but also a variety of ancillary avocations and vocations, like polo, painting, brick-laying, and writing. All these were skewered as well.
Some Punch cartoons were laudatory, some critical, and many humorous, like the man himself. Nearly always, Churchill was distinctly recognizable, a larger-than-life character whose presence caricature served only to magnify. Item #007097