Reginald Smyth (pseudonym Reg Smythe)

Born: Reginald Smyth was born on 10th July 1917 in Hartlepool. He was the eldest son of Richard Smyth and Florence Pearce. Reg had two brothers and two sisters. Their father worked in a local shipyard.

Educated: He attended Galley’s Field School, West Hartlepool. He left school at 15 to work for a local butcher.

Married: On 13th August 1949 Reginald Smyth married Vera Toyne, daughter of George Toyne. She died in 1997 and on 21st May 1998 he married Jean Glynn. Reg died just a few weeks after his second marriage.

Family: The Smyths had no children.

Home: In 1936Reginald Smyth joined the Northumberland Fusiliers and remained with them for ten years, including service during the Second World War. For much of his career as a professional cartoonist he lived in London. He later moved to Caledonian Road in Hartlepool.

Known for: In 1954 Reg Smyth began working as a cartoonist for the Daily Mirror, adding the letter “e” to his surname. In 1957 during a visit to West Hartlepool, he created the cartoon character “Andy Capp”. From 1960 he produced an Andy Capp cartoon strip every day of the week until his death. He won several awards from the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain and he also won awards in other countries where “Andy Capp” was published.

Died: Reg Smyth died on 13th June 1998 at his home in Hartlepool.

Further Information:  “Reg Smythe, Creator of Andy Capp” Helene de Klerk (2014)

Dictionary of National Biography