Alan Moorehead

Alan McCrae Moorehead AO OBE (22 July 1910 – 29 September 1983) was a war correspondent and author of popular histories, most notably two books on the nineteenth-century exploration of the Nile, The White Nile (1960) and The Blue Nile (1962). Australian-born, he lived in England, and Italy, from 1937.

Alan Moorehead

Alan Moorehead (left) and Alexander Clifford (right) during the North African Campaign
Alan Moorehead (left) and Alexander Clifford (right) during the North African Campaign
BornAlan McCrae Moorehead
22 July 1910
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died29 September 1983 (aged 73)
London, England, United Kingdom
Resting placeHampstead Cemetery
EducationScotch College, Melbourne
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
Lucy Milner (m. 1940)
ChildrenCaroline Moorehead


Alan Moorehead was born in Melbourne, Australia. He was educated at Scotch College, with a BA from Melbourne University. He travelled to England in 1937 and became a renowned foreign correspondent for the London Daily Express. Writer, world traveller, biographer, essayist, journalist, Moorehead was one of the most successful writers in English of his day. He married Lucy Milner, who at the Daily Express in 1937 "presided over a women's page free of the patronising sentimentality which marked much writing for women at the time".[1]

During World War II he won an international reputation for his coverage of campaigns in the Middle East and Asia, the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe.[2] He was twice mentioned in dispatches and was awarded the OBE. According to the critic Clive James, "Moorehead was there for the battles and the conferences through North Africa, Italy and Normandy all the way to the end. The hefty but unputdownable African Trilogy, still in print today, is perhaps the best example of Moorehead's characteristic virtue as a war correspondent: he could widen the local story to include its global implications."[3] And James further affirmed, "His copy was world-famous at the time and has stayed good; he was a far better reporter on combat than his friend Ernest Hemingway."[4] Moorehead's 1946 biography of Montgomery also remains well considered – "Moorehead was well able to see – as Wilmot calamitously didn't – that Eisenhower was Montgomery's superior in character and judgment."[5]

In 1956, his book Gallipoli about the Allies' disastrous World War I campaign at Gallipoli, received almost unprecedented critical acclaim (though it was later criticised by the British Gallipoli historian Robert Rhodes James as "deeply flawed and grievously over-praised"). In England, the book won the Sunday Times thousand-pound award and gold medal was the first recipient of the Duff Cooper Memorial Award. The presentation of the latter was made by Sir Winston Churchill on 28 November 1956.

In 1966, Moorehead and his wife, younger son and daughter (Caroline Moorehead) made what became for him the first of an annual series of visits to Australia. There he had completed a television script for his manuscript "Darwin and the Beagle", but tragedy struck before the book was published. That December, suffering from headaches, he went into London's Westminster Hospital for an angiogram which precipitated a major stroke. It was followed by an operation, in which brain damage occurred, affecting the communicating nerves. At 56, Moorehead, one of the great communicators of his time, could neither speak, read, nor write.

Through his talented wife Lucy, however, his writing voice went on. Darwin and the Beagle was brought out as a beautifully illustrated book in 1969 and in 1972, she gathered together her husband's scattered autobiographical essays and published them as A Late Education. Moorehead died in London in 1983, and is buried at Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green.


His professional and personal correspondence — diaries, magazine and journal essays, press cuttings, book serialisations, reviews of his works, the background notes, drafts and proofs of his writings, and material relating to his unpublished writings — have been preserved. During the 1960s, two major American universities pressed Moorehead to deposit his private papers as a core of their collections of contemporary writers. Instead, in 1971, Alan and Lucy Moorehead brought his papers to Australia to present them in person to the National Library.[2]



  • Mediterranean Front (Hamish Hamilton, 1941; McGraw, 1942) A journal of his experiences during the first year of WW II while General Wavell was in command, mostly in the Western Desert of North Africa.
  • A Year of Battle (Hamish Hamilton, 1943) & (Harper, 1943) as Don't Blame the Generals. A journal of his experiences, while General Claude Auchinleck was in command, during the second year of WW II, mostly in the Western Desert of North Africa.
  • The End in Africa (Harper, 1943) A journal of his experiences, while General Montgomery was in command, during the third year of WW II, mostly in the Western Desert of North Africa.
  • African Trilogy (Hamish Hamilton & Harper, 1945). A compendium of the above three books, Mediterranean Front, A Year of Battle and The End in Africa. Abridged edition The Desert War (Hamish Hamilton, 1965), published in America as The March to Tunis:The North African War: 1940–1943 (Harper, 1967).
  • Eclipse (1946), Hamish Hamilton. A journal of his experiences, starting at the northern shore of Sicily, just before the Allies first set foot on the mainland at the southern tip of Italy in September 1943, through the Salerno and Anzio landings, then passing to the Normandy landings, Operation Market Garden, the Rhine crossing, and the final downfall of the Nazi empire. (Abridged edition, 1967)
  • Montgomery: A Biography (1946)
  • The Rage of the Vulture (1948). A novel set in Kashmir in 1947 amid an invasion by Pakistani tribesmen which Moorehead had reported for the 'Observer'.
  • The Villa Diana (1951)
  • The Traitors: The Double Life of Fuchs, Pontecorvo, and Nunn May (1952) (Revised edition 1963)
  • Rum Jungle (1953)
  • A Summer Night (1954)
  • Winston Churchill in Trial and Triumph (1955)
  • Gallipoli (1956) (new edition 1967)
  • The Russian Revolution (1958)
  • No Room in The Ark (1959)
  • The White Nile (Hamish Hamilton, 1960; revised and illustrated edition, 1971). Abridged illustrated edition, as The Story of the White Nile (Harper & Row, 1967)
  • Churchill: A Pictorial Biography (Viking, 1960); Churchill and his World: A Pictorial Biography (Thames & Hudson, 1965; Revised edition)
  • The Blue Nile (Hamish Hamilton, 1962; revised and illustrated edition, 1972). Abridged illustrated edition, as The Story of the Blue Nile (Harper & Row, 1966)
  • Cooper's Creek (1963), about the Burke and Wills expedition across Australia[6]
  • The Fatal Impact: An Account of the Invasion of the South Pacific, 1767–1840 (1966; Revised, illustrated edition, 1987), Harper & Row
  • Darwin and the Beagle (1969)
  • A Late Education: Episodes in a Life (1970), autobiography, and his friendship with Alexander Clifford during the Spanish Civil War and World War II[7]

Contributions to The New Yorker

Incomplete – to be updated

Title Department Volume/Part Date Page(s) Subject(s)
Illustrious Sir: If You Value Your Life ... A Reporter in Sicily 25/50 4 February 1950 36–47 The Sicilian bandit Salvatore Giuliano.


  1. ^ Eyewitness by Geoffrey Cox, page 238
  2. ^ a b Alan Moorehead: A Rediscovery, National Library of Australia News, September 2005
  3. ^ Clive James, Cultural Amnesia, p.515
  4. ^ Cultural Amnesia, p.518,
  5. ^ Clive James, p.521
  6. ^ Most of the bibliographic detail taken from a copy of Cooper's Creek, first published by Hamish Hamilton UK in 1963
  7. ^ Confirmation can be found from a first edition of the book, published by Hamish Hamilton (London) in 1970

Further reading and related links

  • Tom Pocock. Alan Moorehead. London: The Bodley Head, 1990.
  • Richard Knott. The Trio. The History Press, 2015.
  • Moyal, Ann Mozley. (2005). Alan Moorehead: A Rediscovery. Canberra: National Library of Australia. ISBN 978-0-642-27616-2
  • Pollinger Ltd., Estate manager
  • McCamish, Thornton. (2016). Our Man Elsewhere: In Search of Alan Moorehead. Carlton: Schwartz Publishing Pty Ltd. ISBN 978-1-863-95827-1
1910 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 1910 in Australia.

1956 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1956.

Alexander Clifford

Alexander G. Clifford (1909 – 1952) was a British journalist and author, best known as a war correspondent during World War II.

Battle of Sedjenane

Sedjenane is a town in northern Tunisia, on the railway line to Mateur and the port of Bizerta. The Battle of Sedjenane was fought during World War II between the Allies and Axis for control of a town in northern Tunisia, on the railway line to Mateur and the port of Bizerta. The battle was part of the Tunisia Campaign.

Berkeley Sound

Berkeley Sound (French: Baye Accaron, Spanish: Bahía de la Anunciación ) is an inlet, or fjord in the north east of East Falkland in the Falkland Islands. The inlet was the site of the first attempts at colonisation of the islands, at Port Louis, by the French.

Berkeley Sound has several smaller bays within it - Uranie Bay, Port Louis harbour and Johnson's Harbour bay, separated by Grave Point, and includes islands such as Hog Island, Kidney Island (a nature reserve) and Long Island. It was enlarged as the result of glacial action.

Berkeley Sound was visited by Charles Darwin during his voyage on HMS Beagle in 1834. He found it an "undulating land, with a desolate and wretched aspect".Berkeley Sound is used by the fishing industry as a designated locality for the transshipment of fish, with accidental oil spills having occurred in the process.

Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Mary Moorehead (born 28 October 1944) is a human rights journalist and biographer.

Christopher Buckley (journalist)

Christopher Buckley (22 May 1905 – 12 August 1950) was a British journalist and historian working for The Daily Telegraph newspaper.Buckley studied military history at Oxford before he started as a war correspondent in 1940. His reporting from battles and front lines in World War II earned him international prestige. He was the author of Road to Rome, An Account of Military Operations in Italy, 1943–44 (1945) and wrote official accounts of military operations (e.g., the History of the Second World War) for His Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO). He was the author of two novels, Rain Before Seven (1947) and Royal Chase (1949). The first of these has been described as "something of a forgotten late golden age classic" in the crime fiction field. In 1950, while reporting from the Korean War, he was killed by a landmine exploding under his jeep. He is buried at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, South Korea. Richard Knott's 2015 book The Trio (ISBN 978-0-7509-5593-5) is an account of Buckley's work as a war correspondent and his friendships with Alexander Clifford and Alan Moorehead.

Cultural Amnesia (book)

Cultural Amnesia is a book of biographical essays by Clive James, first published in 2007. The U.K. title, published by MacMillan, is Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time, while the U.S. title, published by W.W. Norton, is Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories From History and the Arts. The cover illustration was adapted from a work by German Modernist designer Peter Behrens.

Duff Cooper Prize

The Duff Cooper Prize is a literary prize awarded annually for the best work of history, biography, political science or (very occasionally) poetry, published in English or French. The prize was established in honour of Duff Cooper, a British diplomat, Cabinet member and author. The prize was first awarded in 1956 to Alan Moorehead for his Gallipoli. At present, the winner receives a first edition copy of Duff Cooper's autobiography Old Men Forget and a cheque for £5,000.


Dufile (also Dufilé, Duffli, Duffle, or Dufli) was originally a fort built by Emin Pasha, the Governor of Equatoria, in 1879; it is located on the Albert Nile just inside Uganda, close to a site chosen in 1874 by then-Colonel Charles George Gordon to assemble steamers that were carried there overland. Emin and A.J. Mounteney Jephson were confined in the fort during a mutiny in 1888. There followed the Battle of Dufile when the former mutineers, after releasing Emin and Jephson, rallied to fight Mahdist forces. Abandoned by Emin's people in January 1889, Dufile, was later reoccupied and reconstructed by Belgian forces from 1902 to 1907.The fort, where a ditch and bank enclose an area of 12 acres (4.8 hectares), can be reached by road or boat from Laropi. Emin's old harbour is now the departure point for passenger ferries to Nimule in South Sudan.

Dufile was visited by writer Alan Moorehead and surveyed in July 1965 by a team from Imperial College. The fort was excavated between December 2006 and January 2007 by an international team and recommendations on conservation of the site are on file. Today the name Dufile is applied to a nearby Madi village and sub-county in Moyo District to the east of Laropi. The name Dufile itself is a corruption of the Madi village name Odrupele.


Gondokoro island is located in Jubek State and was located in the erstwhile state of Central Equatoria before 2015. The island was a trading-station on the east bank of the White Nile in Southern Sudan, 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) south of Khartoum. Its importance lay in the fact that it was within a few kilometres of the limit of navigability of the Nile from Khartoum upstream. From this point the journey south to Uganda was continued overland.

The Austrian Catholic missionary Ignatius Knoblecher set up a mission there in 1852. It was abandoned in 1859. Gondokoro was the scene for the arrival of John Hanning Speke and James Augustus Grant after their two years and five months long journey through Central Africa from Zanzibar. They arrived exhausted on February 13, 1863 and expected to be met by the British consul John Petherick and his rescue party. As Petherick was away, hunting in the countryside the two explorers instead were welcomed by Samuel Baker and his "wife" Florence Baker, who greeted them with a cup of tea.A passage from Alan Moorehead´s The White Nile (p. 61) describes it thus: "The sportsman Samuel Baker and his wife had come up the Nile to look for them, and there had been others as well who had arrived at Gondokoro on the same mission, three Dutch ladies, the Baroness van Capellan and Mrs and Miss Tinne, but they had been forced to return to Khartoum through sickness. ...

'Speke', Baker says, 'appeared the more worn of the two: he was excessively lean, but in reality he was in good tough condition; he had walked the whole way from Zanzibar, never having once ridden during that wearying march. Grant was in honourable rags; his bare knees projecting through the remnants of trousers that were an exhibition of rough industry tailor's work.'"

Theodore Roosevelt passed through Gondokoro on the Smithsonian–Roosevelt African Expedition with his son, Kermit Roosevelt, Edgar Alexander Mearns, Edmund Heller, and John Alden Loring.The site of Gondokoro is near to the modern-day city of Juba. Other notable nearby settlements include Lado and Rejaf (Rageef).

Hamish Hamilton

Hamish Hamilton Limited was a British book publishing house, founded in 1931 eponymously by the half-Scot half-American Jamie Hamilton (Hamish is the vocative form of the Gaelic Seumas [meaning James], James the English form – which was also his given name, and Jamie the diminutive form). Jamie Hamilton was often referred to as Hamish Hamilton.

Hamish Hamilton Limited originally specialized in fiction, and was responsible for publishing a number of American authors in the United Kingdom, including Raymond Chandler, James Thurber, J.D. Salinger, E. B. White, and Truman Capote.

In 1939 Hamish Hamilton Law and Hamish Hamilton Medical were started but closed during the war. Hamish Hamilton was established in the literary district of Bloomsbury and went on to publish a large number of promising British and American authors, a large number of whom were personal friends and acquaintances of Jamie Hamilton.

During the late 1940s Hamish Hamilton Limited published authors including D. W. Brogan, Albert Camus, L. P. Hartley, Nancy Mitford, Alan Moorehead, Terence Rattigan, Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Simenon and A. J. P. Taylor.

Jamie Hamilton sold the firm to the Thomson Organisation in 1965, who resold it to Penguin Books in 1986. In 2013, Penguin merged with Random House, making Hamish Hamilton an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Hamish Hamilton’s aim remains to publish innovative literary fiction and non-fiction from around the world. Authors include: Alain de Botton, Esther Freud, Toby Litt, Redmond O'Hanlon, W. G. Sebald, Zadie Smith, William Sutcliffe, R. K. Narayan, Paul Theroux and John Updike.

Hamish Hamilton also publishes an online literary magazine called Five Dials.

Lado, South Sudan

Lado is a small settlement in Jubek State in South Sudan, on the west bank of the White Nile. It is situated north of the modern-day city of Juba.

When General Gordon was appointed governor of the Egyptian territory of Equatoria in 1874, he moved his capital from Gondokoro to Lado, which had a healthier climate.

In 1878 Emin Pasha was appointed Bey of Equatoria, then nominally under Egyptian control, with his base at Lado.

At one point the settlement was capital of the Lado Enclave. Travelling through Africa, Russian explorer Wilhelm Junker stayed in Lado in 1884, and wrote complimentarily of its brick buildings and neat streets.

List of World War II war correspondents (1942–43)

This is a partial list of war correspondents who reported from North Africa or Italy in 1942-43, during World War II. Some of the names are taken from the war journal of Eric Lloyd Williams, a correspondent for Reuters and the South African Press Association during the war, and from a radio broadcast he made in 1944.

James Aldridge, The New York Times

Bruce Anderson, South African Broadcasting Corporation

Graham (G. E.) Beamish, New Zealand correspondent

Jack Belden, LIFE

Paul Bewsher, Daily Mail

Homer Bigart, New York Herald Tribune

Eric Bigio, Daily Express

Hal Boyle, Associated Press

Sam Brewer, Chicago Tribune

Christopher Buckley, The Daily Telegraph

Norman Clark, News Chronicle

Alexander Clifford, Daily Mail

Edward Harry Crockett, Associated Press

Walter Cronkite, United Press

Daniel De Luce, Associated Press

Richard Dimbleby, BBC

David Divine, The Sunday Times

Robert Dunnett, BBC

William ("Willy") Forrest, News Chronicle (wounded in the head)

Frank Gervasi, Collier’s Weekly

Frank Gillard, BBC

Hank Gorrell, United Press

Les Green, South African Broadcasting Corporation

Harold Guard, United Press

Matthew Halton, Toronto Star, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Guy Harriot, Sydney Morning Herald

Bruce Hewitt, New Zealand Press Association

Russell Hill, New York Herald Tribune

Geoffrey Hoare, The Times

Clare Hollingworth, Daily Express, Chicago Daily News

Alaric Jacob, Daily Express

Denis Johnston, BBC

Philip Jordan, News Chronicle

Ed Kennedy, Associated Press

George Lait, International News Service

Ronald Legge, The Daily Telegraph

Alexander Gault MacGowan, The Sun (New York)

Denis Martin, Daily Herald

Frank Martin, Associated Press

Richard McMillan, United Press

Bill Mauldin, Cartoonist, Stars and Stripes

Drew Middleton, The New York Times

Ronald Monson, Daily Express and Australian newspapers

Alan Moorehead, Daily Express

Chester Morrison, CBS

Leonard Mosley, Allied Newspapers

William Munday, Australian newspapers

Gerald Norman, The Times

John (Tex) O'Reilly, New York Herald Tribune

Ernie Pyle, Scripps-Howard Newspapers

Quentin Reynolds, Collier’s Weekly

Frederick Salisbury, Daily Herald

Nestor Solodovnik, TASS News Agency

Norman Soong, Chinese press

Edmund Stevens, Christian Science Monitor

Bill Stoneman, Chicago Daily News

John Sutherland, South African Press Association

Jack Thompson, Chicago Tribune

George Tucker, Associated Press

Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, BBC

Ralph Walling, Reuters

Alan Whicker, British Army's Film and Photo Unit

Don Whitehead, Associated Press

Eric Lloyd Williams, Reuters/South African Press Association

Chester Wilmott, BBC and ABC

Harry Zinder, TIME


Moorehead is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Aaron Moorehead (born 1980), American football player

Agnes Moorehead, (born 1900), American actress

Alan Moorehead, Australian writer and journalist

Emery Moorehead, (born 1954), former American football player

Monica Moorehead, (born 1952), American politician

Robert Raymond

Robert Alwyn Raymond OAM (7 July 1922 – 26 September 2003) was an Australian Logie Award winning producer, director, writer, filmmaker and journalist. A pioneer of Australian television, he with Michael Charlton in 1961, co-founded the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's flagship public affairs television program Four Corners, which is still running to this day.

Thunder in the East (1951 film)

Thunder in the East is a 1951 war drama film released by Paramount Pictures, and directed by Charles Vidor, based on novel Rage of the Vulture by Alan Moorehead.

Tom Pocock

Thomas Allcot Guy Pocock, writing under the name Tom Pocock, (18 August 1925, London – 7 May 2007, London) was an English biographer, war correspondent, journalist and naval historian.

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