Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bill Keal

Bill Keal's connection with comics was as an occasional contributor to  various titles, beginning, I believe, with TV Express Weekly, where he wrote a series of short stories during 1961. After penning episodes of 'Hand of Fate', 'What Would YOU Do?' and a couple of 'Mini-Mysteries' for Boys' World, Keal next turned up in Eagle as the regular writer of 'Roving Reporter' and, later, 'Bids for Freedom'.

Keal was better known on Fleet Street as a photojournalist working for newspapers, latterly as a sub-editor on The Times, and as a keen angler. He was a regular writer for the angling press in the 1960s, particularly Angling Times. "His stories of the small streams and rocky falls had the authenticity of having been lived and when one read his work you were carried back into the countryside as by no other writer," wrote "T.W." in an obituary (The Times, 10 November 1972). He was secretary of the Red Spinner Angling Society and wrote a couple of books on the subject of fishing.

William Derek Keal was born in Brixton, London, on 8 August 1931, the son of William Henry Keal (1902-1976) and his wife Kathleen Mary (nee Baker, 1911- ). He was evacuated to Devon during the war, where his love of the countryside and of rivers blossomed. His favourite fishing, which he became smitten with in the 1950s, was for carp and by 1962 he had caught a number of double-figure fish, and eventually achieved the carp fisherman's dream of a 20-pounder.

He was married in Wood Green in 1956 to Shirley Patricia Munday (1935-1999) and had three children, Lynn (Chamberlain), Carol (Sellwood) and Lewis. Keal and his family lived in Woolhampton, Berkshire. He died on 6 November 1972 in a road accident, aged only 41.

(* Photo is taken from the Carp-Talk website, which includes Bill Keal in its Hall of Fame; Boys' World © IPC Media.)


  1. Aaargh! No solution to "What Would You Do?". Really looking forward to the Boys World book - it tempted me away from The Eagle which in turn had tempted me away from Rover (and Wizard?) which had been the last of the predominantly text-story comics. Saaly,the one BW annual that I have is devoted almost entirely to factual articles, with no examples of the strips which had so captured my imagination.

  2. The solution was this: The escaping man threw the dogs off the scent by continually smearing his boots and legs with lemon juice. The dogs were completely fooled by the strong, acidy scent. This ruse was, in fact, successfully used during the Second World War.



Click on the above pic to visit our sister site Bear Alley Books