[Ads-l] "Who was Kilroy?" June 26, 1945 (in-print antedating?)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 1 17:50:40 UTC 2021

Here are excerpts from three articles published in "The Daily Mirror"
of London. The first two articles (from September 1945) presented some
of the variant names for Mr. Chad that were circulating in the U.K.

The third article (from January 1946) traced the "Mr. Chad" figure to
the cartoonist Jack Greenall. The figure was unnamed initially. It is
still not clear (to me) when the figure was given a name.

Date: September 10, 1945
Newspaper: The Daily Mirror
Newspaper Location: London, England
Article: How Mr. CHAD was born
Quote Page 7, Column 3 to 6
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt]
About two years ago there was a minor sensation because it looked as
if a rival to Chad was in the field. This was a similar—but
inferior—specimen called "Mr. Choss." He hailed from the North of
England, and had gremlin-like propensities for making everything go

But he vanished in the chaos from which his name was derived, and the
more restrained and dignified Chad survived alone
. . .
By the way, a bitter controversy rages between the RAF and the Army on
the subject of Mr. Chad's  nickname, which is "Flywheel." The RAF
claim that, long before he joined the Army, Chad and his sister
"Pinwheel" were in the Air Force.
[End excerpt]

Date: September 24, 1945
Newspaper: The Daily Mirror
Newspaper Location: London, England
Article: We've Had Chad!
Quote Page 7, Column 2
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt]
Either Chad has a large number of relatives, or he goes under as many
aliases as an ace burglar. Here are some of his other names: In the
Army he is widely known as Clem, Private Snoops, and the Jeep. He has
a commission in most of H.M. ships as The Watcher or Foo. The RAF, in
addition to his nickname of Flywheel, call him Doomie and the Goon.
[End excerpt]

Date: January 30, 1946
Newspaper: The Daily Mirror
Newspaper Location: London, England
Article: Mr. Chad Is 20 Years Old
Quote Page 1, Column 1
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt]
Mr. Chad, Britain's mystery man-behind-the-wall, claimed by so many
people as their creation, first came to life more than twenty years

He appeared on a comic postcard peering over a piece of broken
ice—fingers, head and nose as usual. Artist was Mr. Jack Greenall,
whose Useless Eustace cartoon delights "Daily Mirror" readers every

The "Wot! No something?" came later, but Jack Greenall, teaching
drawing in a technical school, used the lines of the figure as a
simple illustration for his students.

Again, during his work he brought Mr. Chad into his cartoons. One
which appeared in the Daily Mirror in December, 1937, and which is
reproduced below, shows Useless Eustace at the bank, and in the
background the unmistakable figure of Mr Chad.

Mr. Greenall said yesterday: "I remember drawing that comic postcard
many years ago.
"I used to draw a line and say, 'That's a wall.' Then a head and hands
and nose and we had a man looking over the wall."

Maybe this will end the great CHAD mystery maybe.
[End excerpt]


On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 12:08 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Replying to a reader's letter concerning "Mr. Chad" as a British figure,
> LIFE (Apr. 8, 1946), p. 6, notes that
> "Other LIFE readers insisted that Mr. Chad was an imposter really named
> Smoe, Kilroy, Luke the Spook, The Womp, Finortin, Fanutin, Phenortin, The
> Pookie, Garvey, Alice the Goon, Oogots, Snoopie, Curley, Joe Electron."
> Alice the Goon, of course, was from Popeye, and "The Pookie" may
> conceivably be from "pooka."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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