Gladys Aylward was born short in size and short in worldly status but what was lacking in height and social standing she made up for in. Gladys May Aylward was born in north London on February 24, , and grew up a high-spirited, happy child. “She remembered her father coming home,”. She is author her autobiography entitled Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman. The film Inn of the Sixth Happiness, is loosely based on events from her life.

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Gladys Aylward’s Long Road to China

She didn’t try to inflict Christian morality. On 15 Octoberhaving worked for Sir Francis Younghusband[4] she spent her life savings on a train passage to YangchengShanxi ProvinceChina.

While that story may or not be true, it was not only Gladys Aylward’s appearance that helped her in her work as a missionary in China, but also her total dedication to God and her adopted country. There was no food to be had, and, worse, the ferry to cross the river was nowhere in sight.

The Inn of Eight Happinesses was soon opened and quickly boycotted. Over the following months, she recovered slowly in a hospital in Sian under the care of two English missionaries. After a few days of rest in the town of Mien Chu, Aylward and the children continued their journey by foot and by rail, then crossed another mountain range until they finally reached Sian in late April After about 10 years she sought to return to China, and after rejection by the Communist government and a stay in British administered Hong Kongfinally settled in Taiwan in Aylward worked evenings and weekends to earn money.

She never married, but spent her entire life devoting herself to Christian work with the people of China. She wrote to her family in faraway England and told them that she was going to marry a Chinese, and hoped that they would understand.

Aylward wrote to her, and the two agreed to meet at Tientsin Tianjin. Arriving in England in the spring ofAylward soon found fame when Alan Burgess, a producer from the BBC, dramatized her story in a program called “Gladys Aylward: However, Gladys’ journey from English parlor maid to becoming “Ai-weh-deh” or “virtuous one” her Chinese name involved a series of adventures that may well demonstrate that God not only designed her appearance but was also a constant presence in her life.


And provide he did – to enable the small woman to accomplish big things for him. Lawson was in a mission at Tsechow in Shensi Shaanxi province, north of the Yellow River in northwest China, many weeks away by train, bus, and mule.

Two distressing events marked Aylward’s later life. Donations paid for the fare. Evans Brothers, reprinted by Pan Books, London.

Though she made many friends in London’s Chinese community, she did not feel at home in England. One held her clothes; the other contained corned beef, fish, beans, crackers, soda biscuits, rye crisp, tea, coffee, hard-boiled eggs, a sauce pan, a kettle, and an alcohol stove. The struggles of Aylward and her family to effect her initial trip to China were disregarded in favour of a movie plot device of an employer “condescending to write to ‘his old friend’ Jeannie Lawson.

They should try it sometimes, and see if they like hobbling about on little club feet. She first worked among the refugees in Sian, and, inas conditions of war subsided, she moved to a remote village called Tsingsui, some distance from Lanchow Lanzhouin northwestern China.

Those three shillings became a sign from God, the beginning of her fund toward a ticket to China. Meanwhile Gladys practiced her Chinese until she was fluent.

Aylward, Gladys (1902–1970)

Aylward began to report regularly to the colonel biograpphy in the process fell in love. She was also nearly penniless, and officials, desperate for skilled factory workers, wanted to keep her in Russia.

Taking just a little grain for food, she set off with approximately children, most of them aged four to sixteen. It became more and more obvious that if she was ever going to get to China … she would have to pay her own fare. She was disturbed by stories of the horrors of life in China under Communist rule but was persuaded that a return there would be too dangerous.

After becoming a Christian at a revival meeting and responding to the speaker’s urge to dedicate herself to God, Gladys felt she was called to go to China as a missionary. Yes, they agreed, there was an even cheaper way—overland through Holland, Germany, Gldays, and Russia, then through Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Railroaduntil she made a junction connection with the Manchurian aylware, which would take her to a steamer that would take her to Tientsin—but that route was impossible because there was an undeclared war on between Russia and China.


A year later, the year-old Lawson fell off biogralhy balustrade and was severely injured. There, she was told that Mrs. Her book “Brittany, Child of Joy”, an account of her severely retarded daughter, was issued by Broadman Press in The following year, when the Japanese bombing reached Yangcheng, one raid destroyed the town as well as the inn. Feet are to walk with, not to shuffle up and down with, aren’t they?

Gladys Aylward’s Long Road to China by – Church

Because she lived and dressed as her neighbors, they more readily accepted her, and listened to her message. For many years the young girls of upper class Chinese families had their feet bound even in infancy so that as they grew their foot was abnormally ahlward and shortened.

Sent by the C. This page was last edited on 19 Decemberat Generally, as girls were unbound, wiggling their toes with delight, the women of the town would cheer.

Aylward, Gladys (–) |

Word Books, reprinted by Aaylward Books, London. Gladys Aylward, The Little Woman. Thus, Gladys Aylward, who wore a size three, became Inspector of Feet, traveling the province on a mule accompanied by two soldiers. Her plan was to read Bible stories at night to the guests, who would then spread news of the inn as they glsdys the country. Within a short time the mule teams stopped on their own and while their stories brought only a few converts, it was a beginning.

Click Here to Search History’s Women. After three months in the program, the chair of the C. Born Gladys May Aylward on February 24,in Edmonton, north of London, England; biograpgy of influenza on January 2,in Taipei, Taiwan; daughter of a postman and a postal worker; left school at 14; at 28, studied for three months at the China Inland Mission in London; never married; children: However, when they first opened, Gladys decided to take the imitative to attract customers.

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