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Fanciful Freddie

"Fanciful Freddie", SWift annual 1955

Philip Meigh was born in 1926 in Rouen, Normandy, son of a British father and a French mother who met during the First World War. The family lived in Cheltenham from 1937, and Meigh was educated at the Prior Park Roman Catholic boarding school in Bath.

He served in the Army during the Second World War, then studied at Wimbledon Arts College and the Royal College of Art. He married Frances Sewell in 1954, and the couple made a living buying and renovating houses.

He started selling his cartoons to Punch, Tatler, The Times, The Daily Sketch Lilliput, Young Elizabethan and the Daily Mirror. He drew "Fanciful Freddie" (1955) and "Hopeful Harry" (1959) for Swift annuals.

He lived in the Cotswolds, and from 1974 was a director of Painswick Bird and Deer Park. He and his wife separated in the '80s, and he went on to have a relationship with Carol Cole, with whom he ran Classical Fine Arts, making tromp l'oeil paintings and companion boards. He died of pneumonia at Cirencester Hospital on 7 February 2008, aged 82.

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