In Memoriam: Neil Emery

Neil Emery, creator of the original Charley's War web site

Neil Emery, creator of the original Charley’s War web site

In Memoriam: Neil Emery

Many of the pages on downthetubes about Charley’s War were first published on Tripod, on a site devoted solely to the strip created by Neil Emery, who sadly passed suddenly and unexpectedly, cause unknown, at the far too early age of 39 in June 2010.

Charley’s War co-creator Pat Mills campaigned for some time for the re-publication of the critically-acclaimed World War One series first published in Battle Picture Weekly. But it was Neil’s interest in the saga, creating this web site which played a significant role in revitalising interest in the series and persuading Titan Books to reprint the saga.

After a long absence from the web following the death of his mother in 2006, Neil ‘rebooted’ the site and both he and John Freeman (the current editor of Titan’s Charley’s War books) talked about expanding this resource, giving it a higher profile it fully deserved.

Thanks to Moose Harris, that development can now be realized.

Here, Catherine Marie Gypsy Glenton, Neil’s partner, pays tribute to him, in a piece composed shortly after his death that she fully admits is “written from the heart”…

A dedication to Neil Emery

It is with great sorrow and heartache that I bring you the news, that my partner Neil Emery, who most of you here will know as the author and creator of this stunning Charley’s War website died suddenly on 18th June 2010.

He died in my arms aged just 39.

Those of you familiar with this Charley’s War site will know how passionate Neil was on the subject and the time and effort he put in to making the site shows his dedication and love for the comic and World War 1.

The best tribute I can give you on Neil and give you a little of Neil’s background, is by way of a few excerpts from the eulogy myself and my daughter wrote and read out at Neil’s funeral…

We will never meet anyone like Neil again. Some people are lucky enough to be blessed with one gift in life: Neil was multi-talented. A draughtsman by trade, he was an amazing artist, musician and historian, particularly of World War 1. A prolific writer and journalist admired by people around the globe for his articles and blogs, but mostly for his intelligence, wit and humour, he was a comedy genius.

Often referring to himself as an “anorak”, his knowledge on subjects he was passionate about was infinite. He would have made a great teacher.

Those who were lucky enough to meet Neil in person would find the most polite, warm, quiet, unassuming man. He had a beautiful presence about him: he would always try to think for others. He was often shy, but if you were privileged enough to get close to Neil, the wall of shyness fell and there would be the most amazing character that could fill a stadium.

Neil was brilliant, articulate, a complex and a unique individual, misunderstood at times, but the good soul always shone through. Honest and deep, yet forthright and modest, he was a no nonsense person who wouldn’t suffer a fool, yet was fiercely loyal to those he cared about.

He is idolized and loved by many for his wit and warmth. His real father Pete Townshend (that’s an in joke) described Neil as ‘The Legend’, and he was to so many, he captured the hearts of so many people it is no exaggeration to say that tears are falling all around the world for Neil today.

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