The influence of Ronald Searle as an illustrator, cartoonist and artist is far reaching. Born March 3, 1920, in Cambridge England, Searle is best know for his St Trinian's School cartoons and the Molesworth series but his early work as a war artist is just as important.
While stationed in Singapore during World War II, Searle was taken as a prisoner and spent the remainder of the war working on the Siam-Burma Death Railway. His horrifying experiences in the camp were documented in a series of drawings, mostly of prisoners dying of cholera. When he was finally set free, Searle went back to England and published his drawings. Most of these drawings are now part of a permanent collection in London's Imperial War Museum.
During the 1950s, Searle was prolific with his work producing drawings for Life magazine, the New Yorker, The Sunday Express and more. He created more cartoons for the St Trinian's books, based on his sister's school days and working with Geoffrey Willans, produced more Molesworth books. Not stopping there, Searle also worked on travel books, advertisments, posters and title backgrounds for films. In 1975 the full-length animated film, Dick Deadeye, was realeased and many artists worked on the animations. Many consider this film to be Searle's greatest accomplishment but he did not approve of the end result.
Considered one of the foremost illustrators, Searle's influential pen line drawings have decorated numerous book covers, magazine pages, coins, posters and more. To learn more about Searle's life, especially during his time in the war, Russell Davies 1990 book, Ronald Searle, A Biography is a good place to start.