Searle, Ronald William Fordham

Searle, Ronald William Fordham, 1920–2011, British cartoonist, b. Cambridge. He joined the army as World War II broke out, was captured (1942) by the Japanese at Singapore, and was in the forced labor gang that built the Burma railway under horrendous conditions. His drawings, on paper scraps, recorded the brutality, and many were later published (1947, 1986) in book form. After the war he resumed his cartoon chronicle (begun 1941) of the hilarious antics of the fiendish female denizens of an English school; Hurrah for St. Trinian's (1948) was the first of a series of books. Some were later made into popular films. Searle also drew for Punch, The New Yorker, Le Monde, and other publications. He published more than 80 books, some illustrating his own text, some that of others; they include The Rake's Progress (1955, an homage to Hogarth), The Big Fat Cat Book (1982), and What! Already? Searle at 90 (2010). He also made animated sequences for films, e.g., Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965).

See biography by R. Davies (1990, repr. 2006).

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