Saturday, November 18, 2017

Edgar Holloway

Robert J. Kirkpatrick

Edgar Holloway was best-known as a war artist and a painter of military uniforms. He was also an illustrator for a handful of periodicals, and of children’s books in the UK and, later in his life, in Australia. (He should not be confused with another Edgar Holloway, born in 1914 and who died in 2008, who was a far more prolific artist and etcher).

He was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, on 16 February 1870 and baptized as Edgar Alfred Holloway on 10 September 1870. He was the last of seven children born to Francis Holloway (1831-1895), a merchant’s cashier, and his wife Emma, née Gourley (born in Bradford in 1836, the daughter of a draper). Their other children were Ursula (born 1856), Frances (1858), Helen (1860), Frank (1861), Gilbert (1863), and Mary (1865). At the time of the 1871 census the family was living at 254 Wellesley Terrace, Manningham, Bradford. Ten years later they were at 33 Aireville Terrace, Heaton, Bradford, Yorkshire, with Frank working as an apprentice lithographic artist. (He later worked as a publisher and printer.)

It is not known where Holloway received his artistic training, unless it was at Bradford’s School of Industrial Design and Art. By the time of the 1891 census he had moved to London, where he was working as a lithographic artist and living as a boarder with John Lane, a costumier, and his wife at 69 Listria Park, Stoke Newington. Shortly after the census, he married Mildred Kate Barber (born in Windsor in 1868), with whom he went on to have two children:  Francis Gilbert (born in 1892) and Leila Mildred (born in 1896).

By the mid-1890s Holloway had established himself as an artist, specializing in military subjects. He produced many illustrations as a war artist during the Boer War (which ran from October 1899 to May 1902), with some of his pictures being published in The Illustrated Police Budget and The Illustrated London News.

In the 1901 census, Holloway was living at 81 Middleton Road, Grimsbury, Banbury, Oxfordshire, recorded as a cabinet-maker, artist and designer. Much of his artistic work after the Boer War had ended was for Gale & Polden, a printing and publishing company founded in 1868 in Chatham, Kent, which had moved to Aldershot in 1893, and which specialized in printing material for the army and navy. Holloway’s speciality was military uniforms, and he produced a large number of pictures which were used as postcards (many of which were subsequently re-printed in books on British army uniforms).

By 1907 Holloway was living at 35 Milton Road, Hanwell, Middlesex. As an illustrator at around this time, Holloway was perhaps most closely associated with The Boy’s Own Paper, for whom he worked between 1906 and 1914. His work also appeared in The Windsor Magazine, Scraps, The Boys’ Monster Weekly, Young England and Chums. His earliest book illustrations had appeared in 1900, in two children’s books devoted to real-life historical adventures. He also illustrated a handful of other children’s books, with his work also appearing in military books. One of his last works for a British publisher was the dustwrapper for an edition of Dracula published by Rider & Son in 1919.

During the First World War he produced a large number of black and white drawings, including a series of postcards of tanks in action for the Delta Fine Art Company (for whom he also painted a series of glamour postcards). When the war had ended, he decided to emigrate to Australia, and he and his wife departed for Melbourne on 2 December 1920. His ultimate destination was Tasmania, where he lived for a few years, in Launceston, before moving to New South Wales, firstly to Bondi (1930), then East Sydney (1931), then Port Macquarie (1933), and finally Parramatta (1934).

After arriving in Australia, Holloway provided illustrations for several books, mainly children’s stories, published by the Cornstalk Publishing Company of Sydney. He also provided illustrations for a handful of books published by Angus & Robertson, also of Sydney. Between 1925 and 1930 he illustrated several short stories and serials in The Australian Women’s Mirror, and he later supplied illustrations for the magazine Consolation, published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, published in America but with a worldwide distribution.

His wife died in Woollahra, New South Wales, in 1930, and was buried in the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, Randwick City, New South Wales. A year after this, Holloway married Eva Margaret Chugg (born in Tasmania in 1899) at Paddington, New South Wales. Ten years later, at the beginning of 1941, Holloway died at Burwood, New South Wales, in 1941, and was buried alongside his wife on 8 January. Eva re-married in 1940, and died in 1990.


Books illustrated by Edgar Holloway
True as Steel: Stories of Courage and Conflict by various authors, John F. Shaw& Co., 1900
Deeds of Daring: Stories of Heroism in Everyday Life by various authors, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1900
Old Fireproof, Being the Chaplain’s Story by Owen Rhoscomyl, Duckworth & Co., 1900 (re-issue)
A Desert Scout: A Story of Arabi’s Revolt by William Johnston, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1900
Ted Buss, the Cripple, and His Marvellous Experiences by Edmund Arnold, Henry J. Drane, 1906
Tom Kenyon, Schoolboy by M. Harding Kelly, Religious Tract Society, 1913
Lone Tree Lode by Captain Owen Vaughan, Duckworth & Co., 1913
Rodborough School by W.E. Cule, Pilgrim Press, 1915
Regimental Pets of the British Army, Gale & Polden, 1915
ABC of Our Soldiers, Gale & Polden, 1916
Wonderful Stories: Winning the V.C. in the Greta War by various authors, Hutchinson & Co., 1917(?)
Soldiers of Many Lands, Gale & Polden, 1917
Whizz-Bangs and Woodbines by J.C.V. Durrell, Hodder & Stoughton, 1918 (dustwrapper)
Dracula by Bram Stoker, Rider & Son, 1919 (re-issue) (dustwrapper)
ABC of Jolly Jack, Gale & Polden, 1920
Hugh Stanford’s Luck by Mary Grant Bruce, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1925
The Three-Cornered Hat by Pedro A. de Alarcon, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1925 (re-issue)
The Life and Adventures of Robin Hood by Rowland Walker, Cornstalk Publishing Co., (Sydney), 1925
The Carson Loan Mystery by Aidan De Brune, N.S.W. Bookstall Co., 1926
Breakers on the Beach by Leih Bell, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1926
The Valley of Adventure: A Story for Boys by Edward Vivian Timms, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1926
The Hidden Lagoon by Jack McLaren, N.S.W. Bookstall Co., 1926
Mystery Gold by Bartlett Adamson, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1926
The Magic Billabong by T.E. Grattan-Smith, Cornstalk Publishing, 1926
Robin by Mary Grant Bruce, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1926
Lawrence Prince of Mecca by David Roseler, Corntsalk Publishing Co., 1927
Madman’s Island by Ion L. Idriess, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1927
Sally Warner by Florence M. Irby, Angus & Robertson, 1927
Sandy and Co. by Ruth Ellison, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1927
The Glad School by Constance Mackness, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1927
The Lion’s Son by George Bruce, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1928
Dogsnose by J.H.M. Abbott, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1928
Teens: A Story of Australian Schoolgirls by Louise Mack, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1929
Di-Double-Di by Constance Mackness, Cornstalk Publishing Co., 1929
Lasseter’s Last Ride by Ion L. Idriess, Angus & Robertson, 1931 (dustwrapper)
The Tiny Toddler’s ABC, John Sands, 1931   
The Desert Column: Leaves from the Diary of an Australian Trooper in Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine by Ion L. Idriess, Angus & Robertson, 1932
A Curate in Bohemia by Norman Lindsay, N.S.W. Bookstall Co., 1932
Philip’s School Atlas of the World and the Commonwealth of Australia Specialised, George B. Philip, 1938

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