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Flight across China with a British hero

In the Independent Clifford Coonan writes about George Hogg.

An Oxford graduate who was travelling around the world, George Hogg landed in Shanghai when he was 23. He was fascinated by China, and decided to work as a journalist for the United Press news agency.

At some point Hogg met New Zealand philanthropist Rewi Alley who was trying to set up schools for orphan boys. He helped run one of the schools, Shuangshipu, around 125 miles west of Xi'an, in Shaanxi province with great success, until the Japanese invaded China, sacking cities and brutally murdering hundreds of thousands of Chinese. As they drew closer, Hogg packed up the school on carts and made a run for Gansu with the Japanese in pursuit.

He and the boys travelled more than 600 miles across treacherous mountainous terrain in north-western China. Coonan says that the story of how Hogg took took 60 orphans “to safety across war-ravaged China" is a remarkable tale. It is due to become a movie called The Children of Huang Shi by Canadian-born director Roger Spottiswoode.

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