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Robert Marchand

The Civil and Military Gazette, March 1949
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Round-The-World Hitch-Hiker Arrives in Lahore
("C. & M.G" Special) March 1949


Thirty-year-old Robert Marchand, a world-wanderer, has arrived in Lahore hitch-hiking from London through Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Trieste, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, and plans to go round the world through India, Ceylon, Singapore, Australia, Newzealand, Japan, China (if possible) and the United States of America.

With £5 in his pocket, half a dozen shirts, trousers and shaving tackle in his travelling bag, Marchand, who used to cycle about in Europe since his school days, started off on his "last" trip from London on July 21, 1948. Depending on the usual hospitality of the people towards a wanderer and hitch-hiking all along, he is determined to make a success of his adventure.
"Most people want to go round the world but they change their minds due to immediate obstacles, settle down and cannot leave their families behind. They want to see me and appease their curiosity," he said in an interview. "I hitch-hike along."

Marchand, who hails from Southgate, London, is a mechanical engineer by profession but nourished a strong desire in his school days to move about in various countries to see new towns and, new faces and develop new ideas." When he left school at the age of 17 he undertook and 8-month-long cycle tour of the continent - Europe - and slept in farms or youth hostels. He stayed in Belgium and Holland for his apprenticeship in shipbuilding and joined the Admiralty when the last great war broke out.

After demobilisation Marchand again set out to hitch-hike through Holland, Belgium, the south of France, Algiers, Morroco, and Tunic. He could not get across the desert and so returned to his hometown through Italy. He said that he felt like settling down when he decided to undertake his "last journey round the world"