Mike Peyton, yachting’s greatest ever cartoonist, died late on Wednesday 25 January, aged 96.
Mike Peyton was born into a mining family in County Durham, the son of a disabled First World War veteran. Having lied about his age to join the army himself, he was seconded by the intelligence corps to draw maps of the North African desert during the Second World War. Despite escaping twice he spent most of the war in a prisoner of war camp. Freed by the advancing Soviet army, he fought alongside Russian troops as they invaded Nazi Germany from the East.
After the war Peyton worked as a freelance cartoonist for the New Scientist for 35 years, as well as contributing cartoons to a wide range of magazines, including the Church of England Times, Corsetry & Underwear, Practical Boat Owner and Yachting Monthly.
His cartoons have become well-known classics that so perfectly capture a yachting situation that crew members will cry: “It’s like the Mike Peyton cartoon!”
Many sailors recognise themselves in his cartoons – and not always with good humour. One yachtsman who built his own wooden boat, but who got her waterline wrong, harangued Peyton when he found himself the subject of a cartoon – the boat hull still not afloat, with the incoming tide covering the deck.
Recently Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “Mike has the knack of catching a situation we dread and poking fun at the reaction.”
Discover more about Mike Peyton here.