Many happy returns, indeed, for one of the world's most talented and prolific illustrators. Languishing near death in a World War II Japanese prison camp, he must have just about given up hope of living, let alone recovering from his excruciating experiences. That he went on to enchant at least three generations of his countrymen and the world with his outstanding work is no less slightly short of miraculous. For a brief bio, click on this Wikipedia link.
For an especially good tribute to this great man, click on this link by Steve Bell in the Guardian on 10 March 2010.
This certainly is a sketch made of a fellow prisoner, the illustration above done much later, as a remembrance of earlier days. With thanks to the publishers of these drawings.
Fast forward to 1957 and this illustration for American Vogue.
Searle did hundreds of this character. This appeared in the 15 October 1957 edition.
He was even more famous for this series of titles, which began in 1942 before he went to war and continued immediately thereafter in 1946.
Back cover illustration.
My favorites were cartoon inserts in Punch. These from the issue of 25 May 1955.
A more recent work is this, a cover for TV Guide, date unknown but it features actress Elizabeth Montgomery.