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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Jennings author Buckeridge dies
Anthony Buckeridge, author of the popular Jennings series of books, has died at home at the age of 92.

Buckeridge's books grew out of the serial Jennings at School, which featured on radio show Children's Hour.

The first book, Jennings Goes To School in 1950, was followed by 24 others, selling millions worldwide.

Buckeridge continued writing until 2002, when he suffered ill health. His wife of 42 years, Eileen, said the author had "a very peaceful end".

She had nursed Buckeridge through a blood transfusion and the beginnings of Parkinson's Disease.

As well as the Jennings books, Buckeridge also wrote plays and musicals, and his autobiography.

In 2002 he visited the Edinburgh Festival and was awarded an OBE for his services to literature. His wife said the honour brought an "evening glow to a life's work".

"One of the things I have always been pleased about for him was the retrospective view of his books," Mrs Buckeridge said.

Boys' own adventures

"The old stuff on Children's Hour always concentrated on the humour - which is there and added to the popularity - but he has lived long enough to get a reassessment of the literary worth of his writing," she said.

JCT Jennings was an accident-prone 11-year-old at the fictional Linbury Court School.

Jennings was modelled on a boy called Diarmid Jennings, a year older than Buckeridge, who left school at 1928 and moved to New Zealand. Buckeridge never saw him again.

Buckeridge once said of Jennings: "If I had let him grow up he'd probably be drawing the dole now.

"Jennings is often misunderstood. He's not a rebel. No one got hurt by anything he did. There is no chance I will update him and turn him into a glue-sniffer." The books popularised phrases such as "goodo" and "fossilised fish hooks".

As well as his wife, Buckeridge, of Lewes, East Sussex, is survived by three children and four grandchildren.



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