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Gladys Aylward

Gladys Aylward was the British missionary worker whose story was made into the Hollywood film, Inn of the Sixth Happiness[?], starring Ingrid Bergman.

Aylward was born of a working-class family in London in 1902. Although forced into domestic service at an early age, she always had an ambition to go overseas as a missionary, and studied with great determination in order to be fitted for the role. In 1930, she spent her life savings on a passage to China, where she founded the Inn of the Sixth Happiness (六福客棧) in a remote and backward area.

In 1938, the region was invaded by Japanese forces, and Aylward led one hundred children to safety over the mountains. She remained in China after World War II, eventually settling in Taiwan in 1953. Her own account of her experiences is The Small Woman (unlike the Hollywood actress who portrayed her, Aylward was only about five feet tall). She died in 1970. She was known as 艾偉德 in China.

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