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Roald Dahl, the writer of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” was given a Viking funeral, and was buried with wine, snooker cues, pencils and a power saw

Domagoj Valjak

Many people don’t know that some of their favorite children’s stories were conceived in the wondrous imagination of Roald Dahl. Dahl was an extremely prolific and versatile writer, having written 19 novels, including “The Gremlins”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and “Fantastic Mr. Fox”.

He also wrote short stories, screenplays, and poems, and many love him for his particularly macabre motifs and unexpected plot twists.

Roald Dahl in 1954.

Roald Dahl in 1954.

Dahl’s versatility didn’t end with literature: during World War II, he was a fighter pilot in the British Royal Air Force, and he was successful enough to become a wing commander. In 1960, Dahl’s infant son was injured by a reckless taxi driver, and as a result suffered from hydrocephalus. Dahl collaborated with the hydraulic engineer Stanley Wade and the neurosurgeon Kenneth Till to create the “Wade-Dahl-Till” valve, a device which saved as many as 3000 children suffering from the dangerous condition.

Dahl died in 1990 at the age of 70, and a man as exceptional as he was deserved an equally exceptional funeral. Dahl’s granddaughter arranged a special Viking funeral for him, to honor his Norwegian roots and his life, which was full of conquests.

A Hawker Hurricane Mk 1, the aircraft type in which Dahl engaged in aerial combat over Greece.

A Hawker Hurricane Mk 1, the aircraft type in which Dahl engaged in aerial combat over Greece.

 

 

Dahl’s gravestone, St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. Photo Credit

Dahl’s gravestone, St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. Photo Credit

To stay true to the Viking burial ritual, Dahl’s coffin and grave were filled with some of his favorite possessions. These included his prized snooker cues, expensive burgundy, assorted chocolates, his favorite HB pencils and a circular power saw. It is unclear whether he was really fond of the circular saw, or if it was included to help him build ships for the Norse gods in the afterlife.

During the funeral, the famous poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” was read aloud. The poem was written by Dylan Thomas, a writer who was Dahl’s friend and supporter, and the reading of the poem served as the closing act of their long friendship.

Roald Dahl in 1982. Photo Credit

Roald Dahl in 1982. Photo Credit

After Dahl’s death, his wife continued to run many charity foundations he started, and she continued to raise money for the benefit of terminally ill children and young people across the world.

Read another story from us: Some of the craziest things the world has forgotten about the Vikings

Nowadays, Dahl’s grave is a place where both children and adults leave toys and small tokens to honor the legacy of this prolific writer and exceptional man.