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-1934

Roald Dahl begins working for Shell Oil

In 1934, Roald leaves Repton and, after taking part in a joint public schools expedition to Newfoundland that he describes in the closing chapters of Boy, he begins working for the Shell Oil Company.

For the first few years of his time with Shell he lives at home with his mother and family in Bexley, Kent, and commutes to work as a clerk in the company's London offices. During this time he also begins dabbling in writing spoofs and sketches.

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-1938

Roald Dahl travels to Dar-es-Salaam to work for Shell

In Autumn 1938 Roald is sent to Shell's branch office in Dar-es-Salaam, the capital of Tanganyika, East Africa (now Tanzania), on a three-year contract. He was a year into his contract with Shell when the Second World War broke out.

He writes in detail about his experiences in Africa in his later memoir, Going Solo.

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-November 1939

Following the outbreak of World War Two, Roald Dahl joins the Royal Air Force (RAF)

Following the outbreak of World War Two, Roald Dahl leaves Shell and heads to Nairobi to enlist in the Royal Air Force (RAF). He is 23 years old.

In Nairobi he learns to fly a Tiger Moth plane, training alongside 15 other men of a similar age. In Going Solo he writes: "It is a fact, and I verified it carefully later, that out of those sixteen, no fewer than thirteen were killed in the air within the next two years."

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