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Chuckles

Chuckles first appeared on 10th January 1914, and consisted of eight pages priced at a halfpenny. It was one of the "Companion Papers" which included the Magnet, Gem and Boys Friend but aimed at a younger audience. It ran for 517 issues before being relaunched as Jungle Jinks. In the Collectors Digest Annual of 1971 Harold F Griffiths recalls Chuckles with affection. You can read the article here.

In glancing through this publication it would be easy to believe that Hamilton was heavily involved but it is possible his actual contribution may be just one short story.

The first 37 issues of Chuckles featured Greyfriars stories which relied heavily on Dick Trumper of Courtfield County Council School. In an article on page 27 of the Collectors Digest issue 109 Bill Lofts states that these stories were originally written by Hamilton and on page 46 of the Collectors Digest issue 110 he followed up with a list of story titles. However after further research Lofts discovered that Hamilton only wrote one of the stories (published in issue 35) with the rest being by C. M. Down. His updated article can be found on page 30 of the Collectors Digest issue 389. Story titles can be found in the 1971 issue of the Collector's Digest Annual.

Issue 96 introduced a new character Teddy Baxter of Claremont school by Prosper Howard. A year earlier the Boys Friend Library published an original Hamilton story The School Under Canvas using the pen name Prosper Howard so it would be reasonable to assume that these stories were also by Hamilton. However a letter from Hamilton published on page 111 of Collectors Digest issue 28 reveals that he did not write any of the Claremont stories and that he had no idea who Prosper Howard was. On page 47 of Collectors Digest issue 110 H. J. Garrish, a former director of the AP revealed that Prosper Howard was in fact a pen name of H. A. Hinton and that Hinton wrote all the Claremont stories. However on page 314 of Collectors Digest issue 155 G. R. Samways claimed Claremont was his creation so who knows! The last Claremont story appeared in issue 265.

In issue 266 a new series of school stories appeared in the paper. The author was Harry Clifton and the stories featured Dick Royle of Belminster school. In "The World of Frank Richards" and "The Men Behind Boys' Fiction" Lofts & Adley claim that Harry Clifton was another pen name for Charles Hamilton and he wrote for Chuckles under that name. In Collectors Digest issue 110 Hamilton denied being Harry Clifton. Of course it is possible that he wrote the Belminster stories but was unaware they were published under the name of Harry Clifton. If anyone is able to provide any information on Harry Clifton then please get in touch.

A couple of issues are available for download- Chuckles issue 3 and Chuckles issue 104.