How George Vine was spared execution in Shanghai
Saturday 31 December 2016
I am George Vine's step-daughter and would like to correct a couple of facts [Obituary: George Vine]:
My father and Graham Jenkins were not spared after a diplomatic intervention. When my mother Ellen, George Vine's first wife, went to see the British Consul she was left standing at the door and informed that the Consul could not see her as he was in the middle of a dinner party. So she went to see Clyde Farnsworth, an American journalist and head of the Foreign Press Association, who went to see the commandant of the Shanghai gaol. He persuaded the commandant to free the two journalists the next morning when the new guard came on duty, who would not know what they were in for, thereby saving face. Furthermore the USIS threatened to stop the export of rice to China should anything happen to the two journalists.
We left Shanghai on the last boat out. Had we passed a fort on the river half an hour later we would probably not have made it, as by then the Red Army had taken it.
He fought the war in East Africa and Burma. After working in London he moved to Germany, where he continued a distinguished career working as a journalist for the News Chronicle, The Daily Mail and Reuters. He was also a frequent participant on the Sunday morning German TV news programme “Fruehschoppen”. ■