Savile Lumley

Savile Lumley was a popular book illustrator and poster designer. In the 1890s Lumley shared a studio in St John's Wood with George Stampa, while studying with the Royal Academy School. His first cartoons started appearing in Sketchy Bits and The Tatler.

During the First World War he designed the famous poster, Daddy, what did you do in the Great War? Paul Gunn later explained the background to the poster: "One night my father came home very worried about the war situation and discussed with my mother whether he should volunteer. He happened to come in to where I was asleep and quite casually said to my mother, If I don't join the forces whatever will I say to Paul if he turns round to me and says, What did you do in the Great War, Daddy? He suddenly turned round to my mother and said that would make a marvellous slogan for a recruiting poster. He shot off to see one of his pet artists, Savile Lumley, had a sketch drawn straight away, based on the theme projected about five years hence, although by the time it had taken shape the questioner had become one of my sisters."

Savile Lumley, Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?
Savile Lumley, Daddy, what did
you do in the Great War?

Books illustrated by Lumley included A Disputed Heritage (1911), The Story of a Chinese Scout (1922), Chappie and Others (1926), From a Cottage in Pennycook Lane (1933), Wonder Tales of Great Explorers (1934), Nancy Afloat (1936) and The Black Arrow (1949). Lumley also provided the drawings for several magazines and comics including The Boy's Own Paper, The Champion Annual, Chatterbox and Little Folks.

Savile Lumley died in 1949.

Primary Sources

(1) After the war, Paul Gunn explained the background to the design of Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?

One night my father came home very worried about the war situation and discussed with my mother whether he should volunteer. He happened to come in to where I was asleep and quite casually said to my mother, "If I don't join the forces whatever will I say to Paul if he turns round to me and says, "What did you do in the Great War, Daddy?" He suddenly turned round to my mother and said that would make a marvellous slogan for a recruiting poster. He shot off to see one of his pet artists, Savile Lumley, had a sketch drawn straight away, based on the theme projected about five years hence, although by the time it had taken shape the questioner had become one of my sisters. To end the story on a nice note, he joined the Westminster Volunteers a few days later!