Original Bill Hooper Pilot Officer Prune drawing

Original Bill Hooper Pilot Officer Prune drawing

Code: P26939

SOLD

An original 'Pilot Officer Prune' sketch by Bill Hooper.  Pilot Officer Percy Prune was the brainchild of William John 'Bill' Hooper who was born in Lichfield, Staffs. on 21st August 1916.  After schooling in Kent he enlisted early in the war and served as an airgunner with 54 Squadron before being transferred to ground staff.  During this time Bill found time to work on cartoon doodles and created the characters AC2 Plonk and Pilot Officer Percy Prune.  These became increasingly popular and resulted in him being asked to provide the illustrations for an instructional pamphlet for his Group HQ entitled ‘Forget-Me-Nots for Fighters’, providing life-saving advice for novice aircrew.
At this point he met Anthony Armstrong, editor of the Air Ministry training memoranda magazine 'Tee Emm'.  P/O Prune was duly introduced to illustrate safety instructions for aircrew with the character always doing entirely the 'wrong thing'.  The magazine first appeared in 1941 with Prune's exposure increasing throughout its run to 1946.  The success of these humorous instructional messages led to Armstrong and Hooper publishing spin-off books (Hooper under the pen-name RAFF), taking humorous looks at the ‘nice types’ found on the average RAF station. 

After the war Hooper worked as a cartoonist for the Sunday Chronicle and the Star and wrote columns for the Sunday Pictorial.  He died on 14th October 1996.  
This original pen and ink sketch has coloured card applied in places and has white gouache highlights.  Probably done for a publication, it measures approximately 29.5 x 42cm and features P/O Prune looking particularly shabby and extremely smart as he exits Burtons the tailors in his new Service Dress uniform.  Signed in ink 'Bill Hooper'.  The paper is creased and lightly soiled but this would look fantastic mounted and framed which is exactly what we'll do if nobody wants it!  Stock code P26939.