Douglas Tempest


Douglas Tempest was born in Thurlton, Norfolk, in 1887. The family subsequently moved to Leeds, Yorkshire.

He studied at Leeds School of Art and in 1912 he began work designing comic images for Bamforth & Co, a slide-making company in Holmfirth that had branched out into postcard production,.

With the outbreak of war in 1914 Tempest produced a seried of anti-Kaiser cartoons that were released as slides and postcards. Bamforth had recently recommenced film production (it had previously made films in association with Riley Brothers of Bradford between 1898-1900) and they were quick to put Tempest in front of the camera to produce a series of 'Lightning Artist' films where he drew War Cartoons probably based on his slide and card designs. They contained no animation, and after 1914, as animation became an expected element of War Cartoon films, Tempest concentrated on his comic postcard designs, with emphasis on life on the wartime home front.

Tempest continued to produce cards for Bamforth, joined by two other comic artists (who he trained to work in his style) in order to keep up with the demand, until his death in 1954. The second of these artists, Philip W Taylor, recalled Tempest in an article in Picture Postcard Monthly (1996):

"a most agreeable man. He, his wife and daughter Margaret lives within walking distancec of the warehouse. He wore bow ties and showed me how to tie one."

NB: Tempest always signed his artwork 'D. TEMPEST', and Bamforth named him thus in the titles to his films. The postcard fraternity knew that the D stood for Douglas and he is named so on all postcard websites. However, some confusion was caused for film historians by the fact that at some point either a reviewer or a later distributor expanded the D to 'Dudley', through misassociation with Dudley Buxton, who also msde War Cartoon films. Film historians repeated this in books and articles, and he appears as Dudley Tempest on most film sites at this point in time (2017). One hopes that this will be corrected in the future.


War Cartoons Drawn by Mr. D. Tempest(Bamforth & Co, 1914) onscreen cartoonist
British War Sketches(Bamforth & Co, 1914) onscreen cartoonist
Christmas War Sketches(Bamforth & Co, 1914) onscreen cartoonist
Merry War Jottings(Bamforth & Co, 1914) onscreen cartoonist

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Peter Hale
Last updated 2017