St Trinian's cartoonist dies aged 91

3rd January 2012, Comments 0 comments

British cartoonist Ronald Searle, famed for his drawings of the riotous St Trinian's girls school that inspired a series of films, has died at his French home aged 91, his family announced Tuesday.

"Ronald William Fordham Searle, born 3 March 1920, passed away peacefully in his sleep with his children, Kate and John, and his grandson, Daniel, beside him on 30 December 2011 in Draguignan, France, after a short illness," said a family statement.

"He requested a private cremation with no fuss and no flowers," it added.

Searle was born in Cambridge, east England, and began drawing aged five.

A member of the Royal Engineers during World War II, he survived malaria and frequent beatings after he was sent to a Japanese prisoner of war camp following the fall of Singapore.

Searle produced a harrowing series of sketches documenting his experience, but became more well-known for his cartoon creation of the St Trinian's school, a satire on the wholesome girls' boarding schools featured in the works of Enid Blyton.

They spawned a series of films, the latest of which was released in 2007 and starred Oscar-winner Colin Firth, comedian Russell Brand and Bond-girl Gemma Arterton.

© 2012 AFP

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