Sidney Strube

Sidney Strube, the son of Frederick Strube, was born in Bishopsgate on 30th December 1892. After studying at St Martin's School of Art he found work as a draughtsman for a furniture company before joining a small advertising agency.

In 1910 he enrolled at the John Hassall Art School he began producing cartoons. He sold his first work to the Conservative and Unionist magazine in 1909, Soon afterwards he began producing a weekly cartoon for Throne and Country. He also had cartoons published in The Bystander.

On the outbreak of the First World War Strube joined the Artists' Rifles. Instead of being sent abroad he became a PT and bayonet instructor. After leaving the army in 1918 he became the political cartoonist of The Daily Express.

Martin Walker pointed out in his book, Daily Sketches: A Cartoon History of Twentieth Century Britain (1978) that "Strube... created John Citizen, a sharp-eyed alert little fellow who got whiter with the years, but he always wore the same bowler hat, was always patriotic." Strube described his character as someone "with his everyday grumbles and problems, trying to keep his ear to the ground, his nose to the grindstone, his eye to the future and his chin up - all at the same time."

Sidney Strube, The Daily Express (17th May, 1926)
Sidney Strube, The Daily Express (17th May, 1926)

Strube was a great supporter of the Conservative Party. During the General Strike in 1926, Stanley Baldwin was portrayed as John Bull whereas Ramsay MacDonald, the leader of the Labour Party wore a "foreign-looking striped shirt".

According to Mark Bryant Strube "worked on Whatman board with indian ink after sketching preliminary outlines in pencil." Influenced by the work of Bernard Partridge, Frank Reynolds and David Low, his cartoons were so successful that by 1931 he was being paid £10,000 a year by The Daily Express.

During the Second World War Sidney Strube produced a series of very patriotic cartoons. This included several of Winston Churchill, who was often portrayed as a bull-dog. He also provided drawings for several propaganda posters that were published by the British government.

Sidney Strube, Winston Churchill, Daily Express (8th June, 1940)
Sidney Strube, Winston Churchill, Daily Express (8th June, 1940)

Strube was sacked in 1948 after an argument with the editor The Daily Express and was replaced by Michael Cummings as the newspaper's chief political cartoonist. He then freelanced for The Sunday Times, Time and Tide and The Tatler.

Sidney Strube died at his home in Hampstead on 4th March 1956.