Arthur Ransome Wiki
Roger Walker
Roger Walker
1922 (SA1)
Boy of Swallow

Engineer and/or AB of Wild Cat,
Goblin, Wizard

Sea Bear
Native Residence:
The South

School not so near the Lake
as John's and Nancy's (PP1);

Future career:

Roger Walker, originally Ship's Boy, was promoted later to Able Seaman of the Swallow (PP2) and Able Seaman of the Goblin (WD3). He is expert in matters mechanical and as Ship's engineer is in charge of the engine on the Wild Cat and Sea Bear.

Roger is mischievous: He had a pleasant feeling of badness, to which he was well accustomed (GN3).

He is very fond of food: What about our tea he asked; .... That was the worst of Roger. He might get hungry at any time (SD4). But after a tremendous breakfast before the march overland Roger says I shan't want any more (eggs) till the day after tomorrow. Susan says Perhaps you'd better leave your chocolate behind too so Roger takes the two hardboiled eggs for the march. Roger is very fond of chocolate: .... what brand of chocolate .... Isn't there a special kind that Roger likes (PP27).

He is the fourth-oldest and second-youngest of the Walker family children. The character of Roger was partly based on Roger Altounyan, who went on to become an acclaimed medical scientist.

At the beginning of Swallows and Amazons, Roger is described as aged seven, and no longer the youngest in the family (SA1). Next year there was much less room for him (before the mast) than there used to be the year before when he was only seven (SD1). Roger and Bridget are the only characters whose ages are given.

Roger is initially too young to use matches. When John is putting up the nails for the leading lights and Roger says he can't reach the lantern, John says You won't have to and Susan adds Not until you are allowed to use matches ... and by then you'll be tall enough (SA12). Later Even Roger had a match-box for lighting the little lantern in his tent (PP26).

During the relief expedition to the North Pole Roger patted his pocket to hear the matches rattle in his box. It was pleasant to feel that he, at least, was properly prepared (WH17). When John and Susan go to the Fram at night and Roger and Titty are left at Holly Howe, Roger sees John's bed is empty and decided that this was one of the occasions when a rule might properly be broken. He struck a match and lit the candle (WH18). Perhaps the "family rule" is not to light candles in the bedroom.

Titty and John sometimes refer to him as Rogie (PP10,11).

A roger is the Norfolk name for a sudden squall which makes a loud hissing noise as it comes sweeping over the reeds (CC23). Such a squall was an occasion for Dorothea Callum's rather lame pun about giving it some chocolate.


List of books, with Roger's particular contribution to the plot, if any: