Clifford Webb

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Clifford Webb (14 February 1895 – 29 July 1972) was an English artist, illustrator and author: RBA 1936, RE 1948.

He was apprenticed as a lithographer, but served in the British Army (Wiltshire Regiment) during World War I and then studied at the Westminster School of Art. He fought at Mons, Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia. He was wounded four times and mentioned in despatches. Between 1917-1919, he served as a captain in the Indian Army.

From 1919-1922, he studied at the Westminster School of Art under Walter Bayes and Bernard Meninsky and then from 1923-26 he was a part-time lecturer at Central School of Art in Birmingham.

He specialised in animal drawings, and also produced the illustrations for the first two books of the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome; initially for the second edition of Swallows and Amazons (as Ransome did not like the illustrations produced for the first edition by Steven Spurrier, which were not used apart from the endpaper map and the dust jacket). Webb also illustrated the second book, Swallowdale. Ransome then illustrated Peter Duck, the third and all subsequent books himself, and in 1938 Ransome produced illustrations for later editions of Swallows and Amazons and Swallowdale replacing Webb's drawings.[1]

Webb wrote and illustrated children’s books,

  • The Story of Noah
  • The Thirteenth Pig 1965
  • Butterwick Farm 1933
  • Animals from Everywhere 1938
  • More Animals from Everywhere 1959
  • The Story of Noah 1931
  • A Jungle Picnic 1934
  • The North Pole Before Lunch 1936
  • The Friendly Place 1962
  • Magic Island
  • Strange Creatures 1963
  • All Kinds of Animals 1970

His wife Ella Monkton authored a number of books which he illustrated:

  • The Key and the Chest
  • Tim Minds the Shop
  • Tim Minds the Baby
  • Tim thinks of Something
  • The Top of the Mountain
  • The Gates Family
  • The Go-To-Bed book 1935

He also illustrated other books;


  1. Hunt, Peter (1992). Approaching Arthur Ransome. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd. p. 62. ISBN 0-224-03288-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Who was Who, 1971-1980 (1981, A & C Black, London)