Ronald Searle Dies
January 3, 2012 by staff
Ronald Searle Dies, Aside from his schoolday stories, he was a savage satirist, and some of his darker material was informed by his time as a prisoner of war during World War II. The St Trinian’s girls first appeared in 1941. There, he worked on the infamous “Railway of Death” – a Japanese project to create a rail link between Thailand and Burma, the construction of which led to the death of more than 100,000 labourers, including 16,000 Allied prisoners.
Some of the work he created whilst being held captive is displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London.
Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe paid tribute to Searle, whom he described as his “hero”.
He said: “He was clever and he was funny and he could draw. A lot of cartoonists come up with an idea first but Ronald could really draw.”
However, he added that Searle’s most famous creations were a “millstone around his neck”.
He told the BBC: “He created St Trinian’s, which we all loved, and he despised it because he couldn’t get away from it and of course he did many, many other things.”
Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell said Searle’s work stood out for its “genuine wit, intelligence and unabashed ambition”.
Anita O’Brien, curator at the Cartoon Museum, said Searle was “absolutely unique”.
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