Roald Dahl Timeline

Before Roald's Birth

DateEvent
1863Harald Dahl, Roald's father, is born.
1885Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg, Harald's future second wife and Roald's mother, is born.
1900Harald Dahl arrives in Wales, having first left home in Norway to spend time living in Paris.
1901Harald Dahl marries his first wife, Marie Beaurin-Gresser, in Paris.
1903Ellen Marguerite Dahl, Roald's future half-sister, is born.
1906Louis Dahl, Roald's future half-brother, is born.
16 Oct 1907Marie Dahl, Harald's first wife, dies.
1911Harald Dahl meets fellow-Norwegian Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg whilst visiting Denmark. They later marry and she returns with him to Llandaff, near Cardiff.
1912Astri Dahl, Roald's first and older sister, is born.
1914Alfhild Dahl, Roald's second and older sister, is born.

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Timeline of Roald Dahl's Childhood

DateAgeEvent
13 Sep 1916-Roald Dahl is born in Llandaff, in the large house (Villa Marie) built to his father Harald's own specifications.
19181Else Dahl, Roald's third and younger sister, is born.
19181The Dahl family move to Ty Mynydd ('Mountain House'), a large farmhouse in Radyr.
11 Nov 19182The First World War ends.
Feb 19203Astri Dahl, Roald's older sister, dies from appendicitis, aged just 7 years old.
Mar 19203Harald Dahl, Roald's father, dies of pneumonia, aged 57.
19203Asta Dahl, Roald's fourth and younger sister, is born.
19214The Dahl family head back to Llandaff, moving into a more modest-sized house called Cumberland Lodge.
19214Roald starts attending kindergarten at the Elmtree House nursery school in Llandaff. Roald's sisters Alfhild, Else and Asta start kindergarten at the same time.
19237Roald begins his schooling at Llandaff Cathedral School, a Preparatory School for boys just a short distance from his home at the time, Cumberland Lodge.
19248Roald and some school friends get into trouble for 'The Great Mouse Plot', in which they place a dead mouse in a sweet jar at their local sweetshop, causing the shopkeeper Mrs Pratchett to drop and smash the jar in fright.
"I am only 8 years old, I told myself. No little boy of 8 has ever murdered anyone. It's not possible. Roald Dahl recounting his shock when he found Mrs Pratchett's sweetshop closed the day after her fright, fearing she may have died.
19259Roald's mother removes him from Llandaff Cathedral School and he transfers to St. Peter's Preparatory School, a boarding school in Weston–super–Mare.
January 193013Roald moves on to Repton Public School in the village of Repton, Derbyshire, starting a term later than most of the other pupils.
July 193417Roald graduates from Repton.

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Timeline of Roald Dahl's Adult Life

DateAgeEvent
193417Roald accepts a position as a clerk with the Shell Oil Company in London, living with his mother and sisters in Bexley, Kent, and commuting into the city each day.
193821Roald moves to East Africa to take up a 3-year contract in the Shell branch office in Dar-es-Salaam, the capital of Tanganyika (now Tanzania).
01 Sep 193922The Second World War (1939-45) begins.
Nov 193923Roald leaves Shell to join a Royal Air Force training squadron in Nairobi, Kenya, where he learns to fly fighter planes.
194023Roald crash lands his Gladiator aircraft in the Libyan desert, suffering a fractured skull and temporary blindness. He is transferred to a military hospital in Alexandria, Egypt to recuperate, taking several months to recover.
194124Roald re-joins his squadron, now stationed in Greece.
194225Roald joins the British Embassy in Washington as an assistant air attaché, working alongside the British novelist C. S. Forester who, having himself had short stories published by The Saturday Evening Post, encourages Roald to submit a story about his experiences as a fighter pilot.
01 Aug 194225Roald's first piece of published writing, 'Shot Down Over Libya', appears in The Saturday Evening Post. The article appeared anonymously; for reasons of military security Dahl could not use his name or identify his fighter unit.
194326Roald's first book is published in the US by Random House. The Gremlins, by 'Flight Lieutenant Roald Dahl', has an initial print run of 50,000, with Roald ordering 50 copies for himself to distribute as promotional material (amongst the recipients were the First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the British Ambassador to the US, Lord Halifax).
194427Roald appoints Ann Watkins as his US literary agent and begins to get his short stories published in American magazines.
194528Roald moves back to Amersham, England to be closer to his mother Sofie.
194831Roald begins to split his time between England and New York City.
195134Roald meets his future wife, the Hollywood actress Patricia Neal.
02 Jul 195336Roald marries Patricia Neal at Trinity Church in New York City.
195437Roald and family move to 'Little Whitefield' (later renamed 'Gipsy House'), the farmhouse in Great Missenden, England in which Roald would live and work for the next 36 years.
20 Apr 195538Daughter Olivia Twenty is born.
11 Apr 195740Daughter Chantal (Tessa) Sophia is born.
30 Jul 196043Son, Theo Matthew Roald, is born.
05 Dec 196044Aged just 4 months old, Theo Dahl is struck by a taxicab in New York City whilst in his pram, and suffers serious head injuries which leave him permanently brain-damaged.
17 Nov 196246Olivia dies of measles encephalitis.
12 May 196447Daughter Ophelia Magdalena is born.
17 Feb 196548Patricia Neal suffers three massive strokes and is hospitalised, returning home 3 months later.
04 Aug 196548Daughter Lucy Neal is born.
17 Nov 196751Roald's mother Sofie dies.
198163Roald separates from Patricia Neal after 28 years of marriage.
July 198366Roald and Patricia divorce.
17 Nov 198367Roald marries Felicity 'Liccy' Crosland.
12 Nov 199074Roald is admitted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England.
23 Nov 199074Roald Dahl dies in hospital.
29 Nov 1990-Roald is buried at St Peter and St Paul's Church in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.

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In Memoria

DateEvent
13 Sep 2006The first annual 'Roald Dahl Day' is celebrated.
08 Aug 2010Roald's first wife Patricia Dahl dies.
2012Roald's famous and perfectly-preserved writing hut is transferred from 'Gipsy House', his old home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre nearby.
16 Mar 2016A Roald Dahl book, 'The Great Mouse Plot' (published 03 March 2016 and featuring a chapter from 'Boy'), reaches the number one spot in the official UK book chart for the first time.

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