Eric Newby 1919 To 2006 was an English travel author.
Newby was born and grew up near Hammersmith Bridge, London, and was educated at St Paul's School. After leaving school he worked for two years at The Dorland advertising agency until 1938 when he apprenticed aboard the Finnish windjammer Moshulu and took part in in what was known as the 'Grain Race' from Australia to Europe by way of Cape Horn. This voyage was subsequently described under the misleading title The Last Grain Race and pictorially documented in Learning the Ropes. In fact, two more grain races followed the 1939 race in which Newby participated, with the last race being held in 1949.He served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section during World War Two, and was captured during an operation against the coast of Italy. He was later awarded the Military Cross for his part in the raid. From 1942 until 1945 he was held prisoner of war near Parma, Italy. During a brief escape he was hidden by a Slovenian family, and met Wanda, who later married him and became a companion on his travels. These experiences were described in his memoir Love and War in the Apennines. A film, In Love and War, was made in 2001 based on the book, starring Callum Blue as Newby.After the war, he briefly worked in the women's fashion business, (his father had owned a firm making ladies' mantles), before setting out to climb Mir Samir in the Nuristan Mountains of Afghanistan, an expedition later chronicled in A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush — probably his most widely-known work, and which included a meeting with Wilfred Thesiger. From 1963 to 1973, Newby was Travel Editor for The Observer newspaper.Newby's best known works include A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, The Last Grain Race, and Round Ireland in Low Gear. He was awarded a CBE in 1994 and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001.Newby's life and work was profiled in ITV's The South Bank Show (director Tony Knox) in 1994. He also made notable travel films for the BBC, returning to Parma with his wife Wanda in The Travel Show (director Paul Coueslant, 1994) and visiting one of his favourite cities, Istanbul (1996).Newby died at age 86 in Guildford.