Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams and others to the Editor of The Times

Letter No.: 
January 11 [1945]

The seventieth birthday of Albert Schweitzer on January 14 should not pass unrecorded in this country, for he is one of the great men of our time. A thrill went through the universities of Europe some 30 years ago, when this remarkable scholar, with an unbounded academic future before him - already possessing doctorates of philosophy, theology, and music, and the author of outstanding works in each of these fields - became a doctor of medicine, and left his native Alsace to build a hospital on the banks of the Ogowe, in French Equatorial Africa. There he has worked ever since among the natives, on the edge of the primeval forest, the long days in his hospital followed by long nights at the writing of his philosophy of civilization, which is nearing completion.
All who wish to mark Schweitzer's birthday may send a gift to the British fund which purchases badly needed drugs and medicaments for his hospital (the hon. treasurer is Mr. T.D. Williams, 5, Castleton Mansions, S.W.13). But we write not so much to ask for gifts as to honour Albert Schweitzer for the devotion of his many-sided genius to the service of God and of mankind, and to acclaim him as the apostle of a nobler civilization.
Yours faithfully,
George Cicestr.,1 Ralph Vaughan Williams, Philip Manson-Bahr,2 A.D. Lindsay3

1. George Kennedy Alan Bell, Bishop of Chichester.
2. Philip Manson-Bahr, zoologist and physician, and export in tropical medicine.
3. Alexander Dunlop (Sandie) Lindsay, 1st Baron Lindsay of Birker, professor of philosophy.


General notes: 

Printed in The Times, Friday January 12, 1945, p. 5. headed "Albert Schweitzer".

The Times (50039), Friday January 12, 1945, p. 5