Wednesday, October 29, 2014

R. P. Clegg

One of the most prolific authors of war-related pocket libraries in the 1960s was R. P. Clegg, an author based in Chertsey, Surrey, who contributed to both Fleetway and D. C. Thomson. His earliest known work were Battler Britton and Spy 13 stories for Thriller Picture Library in 1958-59, although he may have been writing before that.

I know little about Clegg. I believe his full name was Roger Philip Clegg and that he was born in Erpingham, Norfolk, on 2 September 1906. He was living at 112 Old Park Ridings, Winchmore Hill, Enfield, in 1931. He was married to Brenda Margaret Noble Brown (1917- ) in 1941 and the two were living at 26 Downside Crescent, Hampstead (fl.1946) and 57 Chandos Avenue, Frienr Barnet N.20 (fl.1949-51) after the war before moving to Greenacres, Long Cross, Chertsey, Surrey (fl.1961-82).

Clegg was one of the earliest writers of war pocket libaries, his earliest, 'Tracy of Tobruk' appearing in February 1959 as War Picture Library #11, with art by Renzo Calegari. He began contributing to Air Ace Picture Library and Battle Picture Library as they appeared in 1960-61. He also began writing for Commando Library in 1963 and was able to write 50 issues of Commando, War and Battle between 1963 and 1968.

His last known work appeared in 1970—presumably he retired at 65, although it could equally be that he turned to writing elsewhere.

Clegg died in Bournemouth, Hampshire, in 1999, aged 93; he was survived by his wife who died in Poole, Dorset, in 2007, aged 89.

(* The pages above are from one of my favourite stories by Roger Clegg, War Picture Library 129, January 1962, with art by Nevio Zeccara; © IPC Media.)

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