Website & Instagram ©2019 Christopher Pearce

Photographs ©1987 The Estate of Stanley Thomas Betterton, dec'd

China Changed My Mind ©2015 The Beneficiaries of the Estate of David Elwyn Morris, dec'd

Website created with Wix.com

In the Autumn of 1939, a young Welshman who had recently finished his education at Mill Hill School in North London, went up to Oxford University on a Scholarship to read History at Brasenose College.

His name was David Elwyn Morris, born on the 22nd May 1920, the only son of the renowned Baptist Preacher Samuel Mordechai Morris and his wife Kathleen.

Like many others of his generation who were born into a world that followed "the war to end all wars" he was already a committed Christian Pacifist.

Little did he know that the adventure that he thought that he was embarking on in Oxford was about to take a very different turn with the onset of the Second World War.

China Changed My Mind is a very simple yet compelling account of his experiences as a Conscientious Objector who joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit China Convoy. 

The notes from the original jacket are somehow still strangely poignant today:-

"We are charmed and we feel guilty because of our own cluttered, superficial lives, which so well reflect our harried preoccupation with the unimportant.  This is a good book for people to read in a time of mortal crisis."


(Book Cover Design by Samuel Bryant, taken from the Houghton Mifflin version published in the United States in 1949)

 

BACKGROUND

The original book was published by Cassell & Company in 1948 with 17 half-tone photographs taken by Stanley T. Betterton, a fellow member of the Friends' Ambulance Unit.  It was re-published in 1949 in the United States by the Houghton Mifflin Company, but due to the austerity of the post war years, the photographs were sadly omitted.

Thanks to the generosity of Christine Betterton-Jones we have included a Photo Gallery of her fathers' stunning photographs, some of which appeared in the original book.

The Kutsing Garage Staff are pictured below, with David Morris, top row right. (Photographer unknown)

 

"Through the unlikely combination of a world war involving millions and the ideas of Christian Pacifism involving a few, I eventually found myself in the summer of 1942 driving a truck along the Chinese road."

David Elwyn Morris