Fougasse was the nom-de-plume of Cyril Bird; fougasse being a small land mine which might or might not hit the mark. He was born in Cheltenham, the son of the English cricketer, Alan Bird, and studied engineering at Kings College, London, and later art at Regent Street Polytechnic. During the First World war he served as an office in the Royal Engineers and was injured during the Gallipoli campaign. This led to enforced convalescence when he turned to drawing cartoons for Punch, for which he became a regular contributor, becoming Editor in 1949 until his retirement in 1953. During the Second World War he worked for the Ministry of Information producing public information posters, the best known of which carried the catch phrase ‘Careless Talk Cost Lives’.