He attended schools in Japan where he grew up speaking both English and Japanese. In 1932 he returned with his parents to Scotland, and studied at the University of Edinburgh and began to write novels. When World War II came he joined the Scots Guards but was then commissioned into the Intelligence Corps and sent to Malaya. At the time of the Japanese invasion, he was attached to the Indian Army on the east coast of Malaya, and his brigade covered the final withdrawal to Singapore. Cut off by the Japanese advance, he was lost alone for a week in the Johor jungle. Eventually he was captured and spent more than three years as a prisoner of war, during which time he was mentioned in dispatches for his work as an interpreter for prisoners.
After the war he returned to Scotland, via the Philippines, having now spent some twenty-three years of his life in the Far East. He lived in Scotland until his death in 1998 writing, among other books, the much admired The Ginger Tree and a series of highly successful thrillers under the pseudonym of 'Gavin Black'.
Mainstream novels by Oswald Wynd:
- The Black Fountains (1947)
- Red Sun South (1948)
- A Price Before Murder (1960) Star Weekly Toronto
- The Ginger Tree (1977) William Collins Sons & Co., London.
- When Ape Was King (1949)
Thrillers by 'Gavin Black':
- Night Run From Java
- A Moon for Killers
- A Big Wind for Summer, also published as Gale Force
- The Golden Cockatrice
- The Bitter Tea
- The Cold Jungle
- Dead Man Calling
- A Dragon for Christmas
- The Eyes Around Me
- The Fatal Shadow
- Do you Want to Die, Johnny?
- A Wind of Death
- A Time for Pirates
- 'Biography' in Wynd, Oswald, The Ginger Tree, Eland, London, 1988
- Adrian, Jack 'Obituary: Oswald Wynd' The Independent, 6 August 1998
- IMDB entry
- BFI entry
- Eland Books Specialists in classic travel literature and publishers of The Ginger Tree
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