Tuesday, November 28, 2006

John Yunge-Bateman

Although credited in Swift Annual 5 (1958) as Younge Bateman, the artist John Yunge-Bateman appeared elsewhere in the 1950s (e.g. TV Comic Annual) drawing nature subjects, although he is probably best known for a couple of limited-edition slipcased books he illustrated for the Golden Cockeral Press.

The Yunge-Batemans seem to be centred in Folkestone, Kent with a number of notable relatives: I believe the hyphenated name comes from a combination of two marriages.

The first was the marriage on 18 January 1844 of Royal Naval surgeon William Bateman (b. Folkeston, c.1811) and his wife, Jane Carr Terry (1816?-1885), second daughter of Wilkins George Terry, late of the 1st Life Guards, and his wife Christiana Isabella (nee Tytler).

Wilkins Terry's younger daughter, Christina Isabella Terry (c.1826-1906) married Danish ship broker Christian Henrich Jung (c.1832-?) on 16 August 1860. The 'Jung' spelling is noted in the International Genealogical Index, although in the 1861 census, the couple were listed as Junge.

Marcus George Heinrich Junge and George Heinrich Marcus Junge were born in Clifton, Gloucestershire, in 1861. Christian Junge would appear to have died in the 1860s as, by the time of the 1871 census, his widow and two sons (listed as Marcus G. and George M. Yunge) were living with her sister Jane and brother-in-law William in Folkestone. Thereafter, they were known as Yunge-Bateman.

George M. was successfully admitted into the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, in 1879, and rose through the ranks of the Army to Lieutenant in 1889, Captain in 1890 and Major in 1900, a year after sailing for South Africa. George married Sybil Magdalen Mary Ridgway in 1906. She died on 15 October 1945, already a widow, although it is unknown when George died.

His brother Marcus G. was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons in 1883 and gained his diploma in 1892. At the time of the 1901 census, Marcus was a surgeon living in Folkeston with his family which included his wife Evelyn Gertrude (nee Elliott, b. London, 1867) and sons Esme George (b. 1895) and John Erskine (b.1897), both born in Folkeston.

J. E. Yunge-Bateman was admitted as a cadet at the Royal Naval College at Osborne in January 1910 and eventually retired as a Lieutenant-Commander in 1926. He was married at Maidenhead on 28 April 1928 to Miss Eileen Magee, daughter of the late Rev. A. V. Magee and Mrs. Magee of Keith Lodge, Maidenhead, and honeymooned in Cannes.

All this family history doesn't tell us much about John Yunge-Bateman the artist. Was he the former Navy Commander or was it a son? The internet doesn't help much. The Bridgeman Art Library simply lists him as active in 1946-59. As you can see from the list below, he was actually active well into the 1960s and Bridgeman, oddly, has some examples of his work, one of which they date c.1940 which means he flourished c.1940-65 at least.

Illustrated Books
The Bumble Bee. Special visual aid book for schools by Charles N. Buzzard. London, "Daily Mail" School-Aid Department, 1946.
Shining Hours by Charles N. Buzzard. London, Collins, 1946.
The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare. London, Winchester Publications, 1948.
Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare. London, Winchester Publications, 1948.
Wanderlust. A travel anthology compiled by Roy Lacey. London, Winchester Publications, 1948.
A Girl's Hobby Book by Louise Fellowes. London, Falcon Press, 1950.
Advanced Angling. How to catch the fish of the week by the Angling Editor, News of the World, illus. with J. Tamblyn-Watt. London, News of the World, 1952.
A Pad in the Straw by Christopher Woodforde. London, J. M. Dent & Sons, 1952.
Ways of the Ant by John Crompton. London, Collins, 1954.
Lesser Worlds by Nesta Pain. London, Macgibbon & Kee, 1957.
The Metamorphosis by Ovid. London, Golden Cockeral Press, 1958.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fitzgerald. London, Golden Cockeral Press, 1958.
Your World by J. J. B. Dempster in association with D. Dempster & P. B. Dempster. London, Odhams Press, 1958.
Coal Mining by John Eric Davey, illus. with Arthur Horowicz. London, A. & C. Black, 1960.
What Happened by Bernard A. Workman & Susan M. Ault. Welwyn, James Nisbet & Co., 1960-61.
Search For What Happened by Bernard A. Workman & Susan M. Ault. Welwyn, James Nisbet & Co., 1962.
Marvels of the Sea and Shore by Oren Arnold. London, Abelard-Schuman, 1963.
Imagine and Write by Wallace Eyre. Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1964.
Let's Look at Cats by Charles Trivet. London, Macmillan & Co., 1964.
One Man, One Machet by T. M. Aluko. London, Heinemann Educational Books, 1965.

(* Most of the information here was derived from birth, death, marriage and census records plus various reports in The Times. I would like to thank Terry Baker for additional information but any errors are mine.)

Update: 30 July 2008

A note from Roy Behrens of Bobolink Books: "It may be of interest to you that, according to Guy Hartcup in Camouflage (1980), Yunge-Bateman was head of a British naval camouflage section during World War II (p. 53)."

Definitely of interest. I'm still tempted by John Erskine Yunge-Bateman as our artist. Born 1897, he'd have only been in his late sixties when the last of the above listed books was illustrated.


  1. I've also discovered a few of his illustrations in Wide World magazine (October 1955 for example). He also did the masthead for "Between Ourselves" - the editor's page in Wide World. I have seen about 4 different designs that were used through to, at least, 1959

  2. John Yunge-Bateman is mentioned on the bottom of this page: http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersY.html

  3. My wife is the daughter of Esme Yunge Bateman. She confirms that Esme's brother was the artist.
    Brian Rennie

  4. A lady called Elizabeth Yunge-Bateman wrote a children's novel called "The Flowering Thorn" in 1961. It concerns five children who go in search of the Nanteos Cup. I believe that there was some connection to Llanfoist House in Abergavenny. There is a drawing on the front cover which has the initals E. Y. B. I deposited a copy of the book at the National Library of Wales, where the Nanteos Cup is now kept.

  5. I'm not quite sure where she fits into the family tree, but Elizabeth Yunge-Bateman (1913-1998) also wrote stories for the BBC. She was related by marriage.

  6. Marianne Elizabeth Stewart Yunge-Bateman (1934-1975), daugher of Esme, based on information from Ancestry.

  7. So who is Elizabeth Yunge-Bateman, born 15 August 1913, died 4Q 1998? Mrs. Yunge-Bateman, lived at Llanfoist House, Abergavenny, in 1959.

    1. Well quite. And who was Marianne Elizabeth Stewart Yunge-Bateman (1934-1975) and where did she live when young, if not with her own family? And which Elizabeth Yunge-Bateman wrote "The Flowering Thorn" which features a Georgian mansion in Monmouthshire which has the exact same configuration of windows as Llanfoist and a central character whose names include "Mairi" and "Stewart"? And which Elizabeth Yunge-Bateman married Simon Benedict Cheney in Abergavenney?

  8. Well, we can answer the last one: he married Marianne E. Yunge-Bateman Bateman in 3Q 1957 in Abergavenny according to marriage records. Simon Benedict Cheney was born 15 Feb 1931 and died 6 May 1999; he was possibly married twice, secondly to Pauline J, Dally in 1Q 1984 (the marriage and his death both took place in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire).
    Marianne was born on 31 January 1934, which would make her about 23 when she married. I can believe she was writing for the BBC in 1956, to the Catholic Herald in 1959 from Llanfoist House as Mrs. Elizabeth Yunge-Bateman and that she is the likely author of The Flowering Thorn.
    The only reason I ask about Elisabeth Yunge-Bateman is that her name turned up in records when I did a search after your initial enquiry. Her death in 1998 is registered in Gravesend, Kent, and that gives her date of birth as 15 August 1913. As I can find no corresponding birth as Yunge-Bateman, I suspect she may have married into the family. I'm still intrigued as to where she might fit into the family tree.

  9. J Yunge-Bateman is also credited with the drawings (all excluding one map) for the BBC Schools booklet 'Stories from World History' Spring term 1951 (scans can be made available)



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