[ E G Castell

E G Castell


[Denis Gifford provided credits for the team of young artists who assisted William A Ward at New Era Films to animate a series of cartoons featuring G E Studdy's Bonzo, during 1924-5. He seems to have based these names on the signatures on a souvenir of the Bonzo production and some of these signatures were misread. One signature, given as "S G Castell", has since been identified as that of the commercial artist E G Castell.]

Edwin Gilbert Castell was born in Ifield, Sussex, on 4 October 1900 to George Castell and his wife Agnes. George had been a grocer until his family came into money, when he retired to live as a gentleman.

Edwin Castell was working as a draughtsman when at the age of 18 he was called up for service in the army. His service papers describe him as 5 ft 9¾ ins tall and weighing 135 lbs, with dark brown hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion. Enlisting in the King's Royal Rifle Corps on 10 September 1918, he was still in basic training when the War ended. He was posted to the Rhine Army of occupation on 7 February 1920, and demobilized at the end of March the same year.

In June 1924 Edwin joined William A Ward's team of animation recruits and worked on the series of Bonzo films. When production was completed in 1925 he returned to working as a commercial artist.

In the summer of 1928 he married Iris Winifred Leaver, also a commercial artist, and they set up home in Norbury, Croydon. They had a son in the Spring of 1930 and a second born in 1937.

Edwin died 3 April 1977, aged 76. Iris died in January 1991, aged 90.

[Many thanks to Edwin Castell's grandaughter for identifying the signature.]


Bonzo (series of 26 films)(New Era Films, 1924-5) Member of animation team

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Peter Hale
Last updated 2019