Page 6, 2nd October 1970

2nd October 1970
Page 6
Page 6, 2nd October 1970 — Unbrassy courage and compassion

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Organisations: army


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Unbrassy courage and compassion


The Witt to Live by Sir John Smyth (Cassell 42s.)

courage in his fellow heroes and heroines.

THE about-to-start-nursMg-training daughter got first read of this and, though not at all a dedicated hook reader, she couldn't— as the cliche goes—put it down till she was finished and much of the time there were tears in her eyes.

Like many another of Sir John Smyth's books, this is a must for the shelves of all school libraries, because it is the kind of book that will lead many of the generous young to set their high sights higher, not in emulation but in admiration for the qualities they naturally admire — generous, unselfish. unself-conscious compassion of the unsoppy, totally efficient variety.

But this is not a book for women and children only. It is one for all who respect quiet courage in the face of appa II ing odds. There have been several splendid books by survivors of Japanese prison camps, quite a few of them women. This is one about an outstanding member of that brave band by one whose V.C. and M.C. entitle him to be a judge of

Dame Margot Turner, who crowned her career as Director of the Army Nursing Service (the Q.A.$) should have died quite a few times before she reached that eminence. She simply decided not to each time, and by her determination and nursing skill guaranteed that many others wouldn't either — though not even her quiet courage could save them all.

She is not one of the hardfaced, set-jawed heroines. Though no longer in her first youth and despite her three and a half years of horror. and subsequent illnesses due to it, she has a calm and lovely face that reflects all her many friends say about her nature. Few top army women, and the Q.A.s are rightly proud of their army status, reach the summit without showing some degree of bossiness and defeminisation: but Dame Margot is the queen of the few.

There are many reasons, apart from her Courage and compassion, for this pleasant unbrassiness. High among them must have come her deep religious feeling on which several of her Catholic friends have warmly commented. Shc truly and at all times put her trust in the Lord. And the natural obverse to her love of patients and fellow prisoners is her total lack of hatred, even for her Japanese jailers.

The review of Teilhard Reassessed, appearing in last week's CA `1 1111It HERM_ o under Er. Jean Charles-Roux's name. was in fact resiewed by his fellow RosnUnian. Fr. Timothy Maloney.

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