John Hay Beith

John Hay Beith

Major John Hay Beith, CBE (Ian Hay) (April 17, 1876 - September 22, 1952) from Edinburgh, Scotland was a soldier, novelist, and playwright. He was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh and St. Johns College, Cambridge.

Beith joined Durham School in 1902 as junior science master, and also coached the rugby and boating crews. Durham featured in his "The Housemaster" (1936).

Hay later taught at Fettes, spending much of his leisure time in writing. His light novels combined humour and shrewd observation, with an English tolerance of eccentricity and suited the taste of the age (he collaborated with P.G.Wodehouse)

He was a second-lieutenant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was in France in April of 1915 and was one of the first 100,000 of Kitchener's Army. He was awarded the Military Cross. He was Director of Public Relations at the War Office (1938-1941).

His work was well known for its wit; often quoted is this line from his play, "Housemaster": "What do you mean, funny? Funny-peculiar or funny ha-ha?" From the same play, two characteristic Hay lines, from masters' reports on their pupils:

*‘He can translate English into a Greek not spoken in Greece, and Greek into an English not spoken anywhere, with equal facility’
*‘Despite his natural levity he habitually gravitates towards the bottom.’

"The First Hundred Thousand" (1916) is his best-known work, and is marked by the same sharp sense of humor as his other work: "War is hell, and all that, but it has a good deal to recommend it. It wipes out all the small nuisances of peace-time."

"All In It K(1) Carries On: A Continuation of the First Hundred Thousand" (1917) and "Carrying On" (1917) were also popular books of his. Other works include "Tilly of Bloomsbury" 1919, "The Right Stuff", "A Man's Man", "A Safety Match", and "Happy-Go-Lucky".

In 1928 Beith adapted P. G. Wodehouse's novel "A Damsel in Distress" as a play. [Page 114 in [,M1 P.G. Wodehouse: A Portrait of a Master] by David A. Jasen (2002). ISBN 0825672759.] In 1929 Wodehouse helped to adapt Beith's Story "Baa Baa Black Sheep" for the stage [Page 116 in P.G. Wodehouse: A Portrait of a Master] and in 1930 they again collaborated on the dramatisation of Wodehouse's "Leave it to Psmith". [Page 279 in P.G. Wodehouse: A Portrait of a Master]

Beith served as Technical Advisor for Cecil B. DeMille's silent extravaganza, "The Little American" (1917), starring Mary Pickford, and was responsible for screenplays/dialogue of fifteen films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Thirty-Nine Steps and Secret Agent.


External links

* [ Works by Ian Hay] at Project Gutenberg
* [ Works by Ian Hay] at Internet Archive
* [ Films and plays by Ian Hay] at IMDB

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kitchener's Army — Alfred Leete s recruitment poster for Kitchener s Army The New Army, often referred to as Kitchener s Army or, disparagingly, Kitchener s Mob,[1] was an (initially) all volunteer army formed in the United Kingdom following the outbreak of… …   Wikipedia

  • Fettes College — Motto Industria Established 1870 Type Independent school (UK) Headmaster Michael Spens …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Small Arms Factory — The Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) was a UK government owned rifle factory in Enfield, now part of north London, which produced British military rifles, muskets and swords from 1816. It closed in 1988, but some of its work was transferred to… …   Wikipedia

  • Sten submachine gun — Infobox Weapon name= Carbine, Machine, Sten caption= Sten Mk. II (trigger mechanism cover is missing) origin=flagcountry|United Kingdom type=Submachine gun is ranged=yes is UK=yes service=1941 ndash;1960s used by=See Users wars=World War II,… …   Wikipedia

  • Annie Shepherd Swan — Annie S. Swan CBE Annie Swan in April 1905 Born Annie Shepherd Swan July 8, 1859(1859 07 08) Mountskip, Gorebridge, Scotland …   Wikipedia

  • Richard Pearson (Schauspieler) — Richard Pearson (* 1. August 1918 in Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales; † 2. August 2011 in Northwood, London, England; vollständiger Name Richard de Pearsall Pearson) war ein walisischer Schauspieler. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 1.1 A …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • List of Old Dunelmians — This is a list of notable Old Dunelmians, former students of Durham School at Durham, England. This is a sub article of Durham School. This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. If you add to it, please reference your additions,… …   Wikipedia

  • Glasgow —    GLASGOW, a city, the seat of a university, and a sea port, having separate jurisdiction, locally in the Lower ward of the county of Lanark, and situated in longitude 4° 15 51 (W.), and latitude 55° 52 10 (N.), 23 miles (E. by S.) from Greenock …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Alan Mowbray — Dans Mon homme Godfrey (1936) Données clés Nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Walter Kingsford — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kingsford. Walter Kingsford …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”