Review by Rubery Book Award

Rubery Book Awards
Reviewed: July 2018

This is the biography of George Aylwin Hogg, a young man who travelled extensively and eventually ended up in China just before and during the Second World War. He wrote a diary throughout his travels and they provide a portrait of a cataclysmic time in history.

His purpose for being in China was to train young men in various vocations. He was only young himself – he died in 1945 at the age of thirty – and he is perhaps remembered better in China than here.

The book is written by his nephew who found out about him after being invited to China for a memorial.

The early part of the book tells us about George’s life, with photographs and family details, but everything comes alive with long extracts from George’s life. He turns out to have been an accomplished chronicler with the ability to enthral with details and insights into a world that has long gone.