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Smythe, Reg - Andy Capp


Reg Smythe was born in Hartlepool on July 10th, 1917, the son of Richard Oliver Smyth, a shipyard worker, and his wife Florence (née Pearce). He attended Galley's Field School in Hartlepool, but left when he was fourteen to take a job as a butcher's errand boy.

He joined the Army in 1936 and saw service in North Africa during the Second World War. Reg had a real talent for drawing, and became a gifted cartoonist. His most famous cartoon character was Andy Capp, a stereotyped unemployed northerner, complete with flat cap, Andy Capp was created in 1957 for the Daily Mirror newspaper and proved a huge success.


Reg Smythe died on June 13th, 1998, and in 2007, a bronze statue of Andy Capp was erected next to the Harbour of Refuge Pub in Old Hartlepool.

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