Enter the characters drawing with two hands simultaneously for children see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot.
His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Born in Wales to Norwegian immigrant parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Dahl’s short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children’s books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His books champion the kindhearted, and feature an underlying warm sentiment.
Dahl’s father had emigrated to the UK from Sarpsborg in Norway, and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s. Mrs Pratchett’s former sweet shop in Llandaff, Cardiff, has a blue plaque commemorating the mischief played by young Roald Dahl and his friends, who were regular customers. In 1920, when Dahl was three years old, his seven-year-old sister, Astri, died from appendicitis. Weeks later, his father died of pneumonia at the age of 57.
With the option of returning to Norway to live with relatives, Dahl’s mother decided to remain in Wales. Dahl first attended the Cathedral School, Llandaff. Dahl transferred to a boarding school in England: St Peter’s in Weston-super-Mare. From 1929, when he was 13, Dahl attended Repton School in Derbyshire.
Dahl disliked the hazing and described an environment of ritual cruelty and status domination, with younger boys having to act as personal servants for older boys, frequently subject to terrible beatings. His biographer Donald Sturrock described these violent experiences in Dahl’s early life. He played a number of sports including cricket, football and golf, and was made captain of the squash team. During his years at Repton, the Cadbury chocolate company would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to the school to be tested by the pupils.
Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Dahl spent the majority of his summer holidays with his mother’s family in Norway. After finishing his schooling, in August 1934 Dahl crossed the Atlantic on the RMS Nova Scotia and hiked through Newfoundland with the Public Schools Exploring Society. In July 1934, Dahl joined the Shell Petroleum Company. In August 1939, as the Second World War loomed, the British made plans to round up the hundreds of Germans living in Dar-es-Salaam.
In November 1939, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman with service number 774022. 80 Squadron RAF, flying obsolete Gloster Gladiators, the last biplane fighter aircraft used by the RAF. Dahl was rescued and taken to a first-aid post in Mersa Matruh, where he regained consciousness, but not his sight. He was transported by train to the Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria.
There he fell in and out of love with a nurse, Mary Welland. A Hawker Hurricane Mk 1, the aircraft type in which Dahl engaged in aerial combat over Greece. In February 1941, Dahl was discharged from hospital and passed fully fit for flying duties. By this time, 80 Squadron had been transferred to the Greek campaign and based at Eleusina, near Athens. The squadron was now equipped with Hawker Hurricanes.
On 20 April 1941, Dahl took part in the “Battle of Athens”, alongside the highest-scoring British Commonwealth ace of World War II, Pat Pattle, and Dahl’s friend David Coke. Of 12 Hurricanes involved, five were shot down and four of their pilots killed, including Pattle. In May, as the Germans were pressing on Athens, Dahl was evacuated to Egypt. His squadron was reassembled in Haifa.
After being invalided home, Dahl was posted to an RAF training camp in Uxbridge. He attempted to recover his health enough to become an instructor. Coming from war-starved Britain, Dahl was amazed by the wealth of food and amenities to be had in North America. Arriving in Washington a week later, Dahl found he liked the atmosphere of the U.
He shared a house with another attaché at 1610 34th Street, NW, in Georgetown. Dahl was unimpressed by his office in the British Air Mission, attached to the embassy. He was also unimpressed by the ambassador, Lord Halifax, with whom he sometimes played tennis and whom he described as “a courtly English gentleman. Marsh, a Texas publisher and oilman, at his house at 2136 R Street, NW, and the Marsh country estate in Virginia. At this time Dahl met the noted British novelist C. Forester, who was also working to aid the British war effort. Forester worked for the British Ministry of Information and was writing propaganda for the Allied cause, mainly for American consumption.