An exciting new addition to our archives has recently been donated to the museum – an assortment of 16 cartoon sketches from the collection of Major Horace Leonard Heatley, editor of the NZEF Times and official war correspondent during World War Two. The NZEF (New Zealand Expeditionary Force) Times was a free publication available to all 2NZEF personnel and was printed predominantly in Egypt with a few editions issued out of Italy.
Major Heatley’s collection includes original works by distinguished New Zealand artist and political cartoonist Neville Colvin. Colvin served in the 2nd NZEF in Egypt and Italy and undertook his cartooning apprenticeship for the NZEF Times. Colvin’s work during the war was well-known for his character ‘Fred Clueless’, the long-suffering New Zealand soldier, alongside other humorous and satirical sketches portraying life amongst the troops.
When peace was declared he took up the position as staff cartoonist in 1946 for Wellington’s Evening Post, where he continued to work for a decade. Unfortunately, due to New Zealand’s small-scale press industry at the time, only a handful of jobs existed for professional cartoonists. Colvin left New Zealand and went on to establish a successful career in Britain, working as a staff cartoonist and contributor for several major publications. His work was featured in newspapers such as the News Chronicle, the Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard, the News of the World, the Daily Sketch, the Daily Express and the Sunday Express.
This collection was kindly donated to the National Army Museum by Major Heatley’s family.