Philip Jordan

Philip Jordan was – perhaps as early as 1930 – a journalist on the News Chronicle (formed in 1930 by an amalgamation of The Daily News and The Daily Chronicle) – a radical newspaper that lasted until 1960. Jordan made his name as a war correspondent, from the Spanish Civil War through the Second World War (I’m not yet sure what became of him thereafter). The doyen of war journalists, Eric Lloyd Williams, said of him that ” he was one of the world’s great correspondents. He would certainly have been one of King Arthur’s knights if he had lived in those days”.  He is referenced by others (including Orwell and Storm Jameson – he met the latter in the company of Nye Bevan to discuss the impending Spanish conflict in 1934). There is one photograph to be found of him here. His disdain for armchair commentators on death is clear from a comment he passed in 1941, writing in the NC, about hostile reactions to Virginia Woolf’s suicide, by The Times leader-writer Philip Magnay M.P.: Tragic as is Virginia Woolf`s death for us, we can be glad for her sake that she did not live long enough to read the nonsense that Magnay talked. As one of the minds that have enriched the art and literature of the last decade or so – perhaps she did more to raise the standard of English literature than any of her contemporaries except Joyce and E.M. Forster – her beautiful serenity would have been deeply shocked by such ignorance so proudly displayed. That is war in a nutshell; it exalts a Magnay and becomes too hard for a Virginia Woolf.”

During the war (1943) he published an account of the North African campaign: Tunis Diary. He also survived an air crash in Yugoslavia in 1944 (two other survivors were Randolph Churchill and Evelyn Waugh).


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