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Daily Archives: March 2, 2010

>St. Trinian’s Cartoons And A Little About Their Creator Ronald Searle – A Hiatus Repost


As a child I was a great fan of the original St. Trinian’s movies and it was fun to find out a little about the artist who came up with the idea of St. Trinian’s and also a little disturbing to find out about the circumstances in which the first few drawings where made and preserved. Originally from THIS POST.

I haven’t had chance to see the St. Trinian’s film that was released last year yet, when I found out that another is planned to be released next year. Interest titillated I did a little surfing and found a lot of cartoons and some info on the creator of St. Trinian’s, I thought I would share both with the readers of this blog.

The creator of St. Trinian’s is Ronald Searle. He was born in 1920 and was of a working class background. He started work, firstly at a packaging company and then as a cartoonist for the Cambridge Daily News, at the age of 15. His jobs funded his art classes.

In 1939 Searle joined the Territorial Army as an Architectural draughtsman but continued drawing cartoons. St Trinian’s was born in 1941 when Lilliput magazine published the first of these cartoons.

Searle was in Singapore in 1941 when it was surrendered to Japanese forces. He spent the rest of the war as a POW and was used as one of the forced labourers, building the Burma Railway. Through all the disease, hardships and brutality of that time Searle continued to draw, both his experiences of the time and cartoons.

After the war Searle approached Lilliput magazine, the following is a remembrance of his visit to their offices.

“He walked into our offices bearing a neat folder containing seventy-two cartoons. They were drawn in faded brown ink, on stained and yellowing paper. Some of them were crumpled. Most of them had survived burial in the jungle undergrowth or under disease-ridden mattresses, where the Japanese would be unwilling to search. Among them were the second and third St Trinian’s drawings. We asked him for more and published them every month for the next three years.”

The “mattresses” mentioned held comrades dying of cholera, one of the few places that the Japanese and Korean guards would not search.

In 1948 “Hurrah for St. Trinian’s” the first St. Trinian’s book was published.

In the 1950’s and 60’s four St. Trinian’s films where made, one more in 1980, one last year and another is due for release next year making a total of seven films.

To find out more about Ronald Searle and his work check out the following links.

Ronald Searle Biography
8: II. Ronald Searle & the St Trinian’s Cartoons
Ronald Searle Art Work – Lithographs and original drawings and paintings by Ronald Searle

I even managed to find a couple of blogs dedicated to Searle you can find them at Ronald Searle Tribute and Ronald Searle Tumblog

As far as I know Ronald Searle is still alive and well and living in France. He is amongst the most influential cartoonists and graphic artists of the Twentieth and Twenty First centuries.