Ronald Searle, the British cartoonist who created the original St. Trinians schoolgirls, died at the age of 91 at a hospital near his home in France, the British Broadcasting Corp. said, citing his daughter Kate.
Searle, a former prisoner of war of the Japanese in World War II, drew a series of sketches portraying the conditions of his imprisonment.
The first St. Trinian’s film, featuring the activities of an anarchical group of schoolgirls, was made in 1954; in 2007 the series was revived, with Rupert Everett in the role of the headmistress.
Searle, who was captured in Singapore in 1942, was held first in Changi Prison and then worked on the Siam-Burma “Death Railway” in the Kwai jungles. He concealed his sketches of the brutal conditions under mattresses of fellow prisoners who were dying of cholera, and they were published on his release after 1945.
He was awarded the CBE by the British, the Legion d’Honneur by France, and invested with the German Order of Merit in 2009.