Notable Contributors

Click to be taken to the following sections:

- List of Editors

- Rudyard Kipling

- Evelyn Waugh

- GW Steevens

- Charles E Hands

- Edgar Wallace

- Noel Barber

- Anthony Cave Brown

- John Edwards

- Ann Leslie

- Cartoonists

- Leslie Illingworth

- Trog (Wally Fawkes)



List of editors

Macmanus, J.E. (Acting)1896-1899
Marlowe, Tom1899-1926
Fish, Walter1926-1931
Warden, W.L. 1931-1935
Cranfield,A.L. 1935-1938
Prew, Robert1939-1944
Horniblow, Stanley1944-1947
Owen, Frank1947-1950 (Jul)
Schofield, Guy 1950-1954 (Sept)
Wareham, Arthur (Acting)1954 (Acting)
Wareham, Arthur1955-1959
Hardcastle, William1959-1963 (Dec)
Randall, Michael1963-1966
Brittenden, Arthur1966- 1971
English, David1972-1992 (Jul)
Dacre, Paul1992-

Rudyard Kipling

When the Boer War broke out in 1899, the Mail was three years old. Northcliffe, who proclaimed that the Mail stood for ‘the power, the supremacy and the greatness of the British Empire’, was anxious to encourage young men to volunteer for the war ‘to hold the Empire together'. Kipling, whom Northcliffe called ‘the Voice of Empire in English Literature’, also wanted volunteers, but was equally keen that they and their families should be looked after, at a time when soldiers were miserably paid and their widows unpensioned.

Together, Kipling and Northcliffe set up a relief fund that Kipling launched with a brilliant marching-song, published in the Mail, called ‘The Absent-Minded Beggar’. The operation was a huge success. In a few weeks it raised £250,000 for the families of soldiers - equivalent to over £30 million now.

Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh made a splash with his novel Decline and Fall, and its follow-up, Vile Bodies. In 1930 the Mail commissioned him to write 13 light-hearted short pieces of 800 words each. It paid him what was then the absolutely top journalistic rate of £30 a piece.

In 1935 Waugh got the paper to send him out to cover the Abyssinian War. But he failed to send it the hot-news stories it wanted, or get them to it quickly enough. He was given two weeks’ notice. Waugh treasured a sentence in his letter of dismissal from the Foreign Editor: ‘From the beginning, it was proved a thoroughly disappointing war to us.’ Waugh used his experience as material for his superb satire on newspapers, Scoop! which contains a famous caricature of the archetypal newspaper proprietor, Lord Copper.


GW Steevens

GW Steevens was arguably the first of the great war reporters. He travelled with Kitchener’s army to Khartoum, and witnessed the battle of Omdurman. He returned from Sudan with Winston Churchill and wrote a prophetic piece about the young politician on 2 Dec 1898:

 “What will he become, who shall say?  At the rate he goes there will hardly be room in him in Parliament at thirty or in England at forty?”


Charles E Hands

Charles E Hands wrote feature and colour pieces, and was shot and injured at Mafeking.  He is perhaps most notable for coining the term “suffragette”, albeit in a slightly pejorative manner.  


Edgar Wallace

Edgar Wallace achieved a famous scoop during the Boer War about the Boers shooting sick British prisoner-of-war. He also communicated the story of the peace settlement of the Boer war back to London via coded cables that purported to be about share dealing. This meant that the Daily Mail was able to publish the Peace settlement two weeks before the official announcement.


Noel Barber

Noel Barber was a star reporter for the Daily Mail from the 1930s-1960s. He reported variously from: Morocco, where he was stabbed five times; Hungary, where in October 1956 he survived a gunshot wound to the head by a Soviet sentry during the revolution; and the South Pole, where he followed the Hillary/Fuchs Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1955.


Anthony Cave Brown

In 1959, Anthony Cave Brown interviewed the dissident Soviet writer Boris Pasternak, author of Dr Zhivago, who at the time was under surveillance. Brown smuggled two of Pasternak's poems back to the UK, one of which was immediately published in the Daily Mail.


John Edwards

John Edwards was one of the last journalists in Vietnam as Saigon fell. He wrote:

 “There was no way out any more. It was over. We had decided to stay and there were times when the decision seemed stupid. The British looked like Americans.”


Ann Leslie

Ann Leslie is a veteran war reporter, and in 1990 joined Mandela on his road to freedom.



On 5 April 1915, the Daily Mail launched 'Teddy Tail', the first UK comic strip.


Leslie Illingworth

Leslie Illingworth was a cartoonist at the Mail from 1939-1969. Illingworth admired Churchill and depicted him in pistol-waving cowboy mode with a Stetson hat on 13 May 1940 when the new PM made his famous “blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech.

Illingworth's drawings continued to appear throughout the war, despite the fact that by the end of 1940 paper rationing had reduced the newspaper to six pages.  The resulting premium on space meant that other pictorial features - such as children's cartoons, continuity strips and sports cartoons - were later dropped. However, Illingworth's cartoons remained, a testament to their importance.

In 1945 several of his cartoons ridiculing the Nazi leaders were discovered in the Berlin bunker, filed away in a safe by Goebbels.


Trog (Wally Fawkes)

Fawkes drew "Flook" for the Daily Mail for thirty-five years, assisted by various authors including Robert Raymond in 1951 and 1952, Compton Mackenzie in 1953, Humphrey Lyttleton from 1953 to 1956, and George Melly from 1956 to 1971.

In 1979 Margaret Thatcher called the strip "quite the best commentary on the politics of the day."


Images © Associated Newspapers Limited