Commemorating the life of a Chinese hero at Harpenden school

TRAVELLERS from far and wide congregated at a Harpenden secondary school to mark the life of a Chinese hero.

St George’s School hosted an international celebration of the life and legacy of George Hogg over the course of a week last month, when guests travelled from as far afield as New Zealand, Finland and China to honour the ex-St George’s pupil.

George Hogg, who lived with his family in Harpenden during the 1920s and 1930s, was an English adventurer who, following graduation form Oxford University in 1937, travelled across Asia working on behalf of the Manchester Guardian during the Sino-Japanese war.

His reportage took him behind Japanese lines working with the Chinese guerilla forces, and he came to be regarded as a hero in China for helping New Zealander Rewi Alley save 60 orphaned boys from the Japanese secret police.

Mr Hogg, who also saved a school along the way, died in 1945 at the age of just 30.

During Hogg Week, two of the brothers Mr Hogg adopted – Mr Nei Gunagtao and Mr Nei Guangpei – visited England for the first time and, alongside a big party of Hogg’s friends, nephews and nieces, stayed at St George’s in the school’s new boarding accommodation, Skiddaw.

Head teacher Norman Hoare said that it was an honour to host Hogg Week: “George Hogg is still remembered today as a hero by the Chinese people and our celebratory week culminated in a special reception at London’s Chinese Embassy on Saturday Evening in memory of him.”