Gladys Aylward


Gladys Aylward Famous memorial

Edmonton, London Borough of Enfield, Greater London, England
Death 3 Jan 1970 (aged 67)
Burial Danshui, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Memorial ID 17915905 View Source

Religious Figure. She was a Protestant missionary during the 20th century in mainland China. Born into a poor working-class family in Edmonton, England, she entered service as a maid at a young age, and had little formal education. In her late twenties she attended an evangelistic meeting and decided to devote herself to Christ. One day she read in a magazine about the need for missionary work in China, and she knew she had found her calling. She underwent training by the China Inland Mission, but she was ultimately deemed unqualified, denying her financial support as a result. Her will remained strong, and to earn money to fund her passage to China, she started working as a housekeeper for a retired missionary and his Chinese wife, who had contacts in China. In October of 1930 she spent all her money to take the Trans-Siberian Railroad to China. After arriving in Yuncheng in Shanxi Province, she joined Jeannie Lawson, a missionary, who managed an inn, where they would relate Bible stories to passing travelers. Aylward managed the mission after Lawson died, and she stayed in China during the turbulence during World War II of the Japanese army invasion and occupation. A local official also commissioned her to serve as a "foot inspector", who enforced the ban on foot-binding. This task gave her a further opportunity to spread the Gospel. At one point during the war, she rescued nearly 100 children from the fighting by leading them to safety over the mountains. She returned to England after World War II for health and safety reasons. Then in the early 1950s, after the Communist Revolution, she tried to re-enter China but was refused entry. In 1953 she went to Taiwan, where she established an orphanage, remaining there until her death. Her life's story is the subject of the 1957 book "The Small Woman" by Alan Burgess, and the following year it was adapted into a Hollywood movie, "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness," starring Ingrid Bergman.

Bio by: Chris Nelson


Born on the Twenty-Fourth of February Nineteen Hundred and Two in London, England. She came to China in Nineteen Hundred and Thirty to preach the Gospel in response to the Lord's call, And became a citizen of the Republic of China in Nineteen Hundred and Forty one. She was laid to rest in the Lord at Taipei, Taiwan, on the Second Day of January, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy. * * * * "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit." - John 12:24


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Chris Nelson
  • Added: 12 Feb 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 17915905
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gladys Aylward (24 Feb 1902–3 Jan 1970), Find a Grave Memorial ID 17915905, citing Christ's College Cemetery, Danshui, New Taipei City, Taiwan ; Maintained by Find a Grave .