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     George Hogg
Add Time :2009-03-18      Hits:22130

 

 

 

George Hogg (1914-1945) was an English adventurer. He was a graduate of Oxford University in economics. He is well known for helping New Zealander Rewi Alley save 60 Chinese war orphans in 1944.

 

Early life

Hogg grew up in the small town of Harpenden in England. He attended St. George's School, where he captained the First XV Rugby team and was Head Boy in his last year.

In 1937 he sailed on the Queen Mary to New York, hitchhiked across the United States, and joined his aunt, well-known English pacifist Muriel Lester, on a trip to Japan as part of a round-the-world trip before taking a job in banking. In January 1938 he embarked from Japan on what was supposed to be a two-day visit to Shanghai, but he never returned home: he died seven years later in China.

 

Life in China

George Hogg was known as a heroic adventurer during the ongoing Second Sino-Japanese War, during which, in 1944, he led pupils from his school on a 700-mile journey through dangerous mountain passes, in order to escape the approaching Japanese secret police in the Shan'anxi area.

On arriving in China he found himself caught in the middle of the undeclared war between the Chinese and Japanese. Witnessing the brutality of the Imperial Japanese Army, he decided to help the Chinese civilians, choosing to stay in China without his parents' knowledge.

Hogg also reported as a stringer for the Associated Press. He accompanied Mao's Eighth Army in Yenan, was thrown out of China by the Japanese, then stole back in via Korea. For a time he helped a New Zealand nurse (Kathleen Hall) smuggle food and medicine to the communists.

During his stay in China he met people and witnessed many incidents that greatly changed his perceptions of life. Primarily, he worked with the New Zealand-born communist Rewi Alley and helped him run a school for wayward boys, first in Shaanxi Province and then, after marching the boys over 600 miles (970 km), at the Shandan Bailie School that Alley founded in Gansu Province.

He also befriended Communist general Nie Rongzhen during his stay in Shan'anxi, and participated with the 8th Route Army in guerrilla raids against the Japanese. He adopted four boys whose dying mother asked him to look after them. Three of them are still alive in 2008 and remember him well.

 

Shandan Bailie School

In Gansu, Alley rented some old temples, turned them into classrooms and workshops, and appointed Hogg as headmaster. From the beginning the school was helped by New Zealand friends, who later formed the New Zealand China Friendship Society. In July 1945 tragedy struck when Hogg died of tetanus after stubbing his toe while playing basketball with the boys. He was buried just outside the South Gate of the town, and Alley became headmaster.

His pupils tried to keep him alive. When his death was inevitable they all sang him nursery rhymes until he passed away, aged 30. His headstone over a grave near by carries lines from his favourite poem by Julian Grenfell:

And life is colour and warmth and light

And a striving evermore for these;

And he is dead who will not fight;

And who dies fighting has increase.

Sadly, he never saw the end of the Sino-Japanese War with the surrender of Japan just one month after his death.

 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hogg_(adventurer)

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