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Gavin Young

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Gavin David Young (24 April 1928 – 18 January 2001) was a journalist and travel writer.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Bude, Cornwall, England. His father, Gavin Young, was a lieutenant colonel in the Welsh Guards. Daphne, his mother, was the daughter of Sir Charles Leolin Forestier-Walker, Bt, of Monmouthshire.[1][2]

Young spent most of his youth in Cornwall and South Wales. He graduated from Oxford University, where he studied modern history.[3]


Young spent two years with the Ralli Brothers shipping company in Basra in Iraq before living with the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.[4] He fashioned his experiences into a book, Return to the Marshes (1977). In 1960, from Tunis, he joined The Observer of London as a foreign correspondent, and was the Observer's correspondent in Paris and New York. He had covered fifteen wars and revolutions throughout the world, and worked for The Guardian and was a travel writer.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Young died in London on 18 January 2001; he was 72 years old.[1]

Selected works[edit]

  • Return to the Marshes: Life with the Marsh Arabs of Iraq, 1977 - travels with the Marsh Arabs of Iraq (photographs by Nik Wheeler)
  • Iraq: Land of Two Rivers, 1980 - travels in Mesopotamia
  • Slow Boats to China, 1981 - travel round the world by water transport
  • Halfway Around the World: An Improbable Journey, 1983
  • Slow Boats Home, 1985 - travel round the world by water transport
  • Worlds Apart, 1987 - a collection of journalistic articles
  • Beyond Lion Rock, 1987 - the story of Cathay Pacific Airways
  • "Introduction" to a new edition of Uttermost Part of the Earth by Lucas Bridges, 1987
  • In Search of Conrad, 1991 (Thomas Cook Travel Book Award)
  • From Sea to Shining Sea: Present-day Journey into America's Past, 1996
  • A Wavering Grace: A Vietnamese Family in War and Peace, 1997 – a Vietnamese family in war and peace
  • Eye on the World, 1999

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Gavin Young". The Telegraph. 19 January 2001. Retrieved 27 February 2011. Gavin David Young was born on April 24, 1928, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Gavin Young, of the Welsh Guards, and Daphne, daughter of Sir Leolin Forestier-Walker, Bt, of Monmouthshire.
  2. ^ Maitland, Alexander. "Gavin Young (1928–2001): An Introduction". Faber Finds. Archived from the original on 6 February 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2011. Aged seventy-two, Gavin Young died in London after a long illness, on 18 January 2001.
  3. ^ Anderson, Sarah (19 January 2001). "Gavin Young". The Independent. Archived from the original on 13 November 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2011. Young was born in 1928 and spent his youth in Cornwall and South Wales. After leaving Rugby he became a deck-hand in the Merchant Navy and did his National Service in the Welsh Guards before going to Oxford to read Modern History at Trinity College, where he was taught by Tony Crosland, who became a friend.
  4. ^ Young, Gavin (1978) [1977]. Return to the Marshes. Great Britain: Futura Publications. p. 78. ISBN 0-7088-1354-2. My job was to see that the cargoes of the Ralli Brothers, the company I worked for, were correctly loaded, and so my days were divided between Ralli Brothers' dank, crumbling office in the old bazaar and the ships.