20th August 1969

Cartoonist Dudley D Watkins dies in Broughty Ferry

Dudley D Watkins drew strips for The Beano and other DC Thomson titles in a career that spanned five decades. He was born in Manchester in 1907 and showed a talent for art from an early age, with the Aberdeen Evening Express of 23 December 1997 noting that “at the age of 10 his painting of a local pageant was exhibited at Nottingham Castle.” During the Second World War, he was a war reserve constable at Kincardine-on-Forth.

He enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art, but soon left to take up a temporary job at DC Thomson, in Dundee, which eventually became a permanent position. In this role, he created Oor Wullie and several other characters whose influence persisted long after his death.

Real-life inspiration?

In 1988, the Dundee Courier printed a letter from a William Smith, who wondered who the inspiration for Pa Broon, another of Watkins’ creations had been.

Smith remembered a DM Brown, who was a trustee of the Children’s Free Breakfast Mission in the city. “Every time I see his photograph, I cannot help but see a resemblance to Dudley Watkins’ ‘Pa Broon’ in The Sunday Post,” Smith wrote. “Dudley once told me that most of his characters were based on real people and I have often wondered about that connection, especially when the surname is the same – or is it just my imagination?”



Other events that occured in August

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