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Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II - Vicki Croke
Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
by: (author)
5.00 15
The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill   Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920, fresh from service in World War I, to... show more
The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill   Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920, fresh from service in World War I, to a job as a “forest man” for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence, character, and even humor of the great animals who hauled logs through the remote jungles, he became a gifted “elephant wallah.” Increasingly skilled at treating their illnesses and injuries, he also championed more humane treatment for them, even establishing an elephant “school” and “hospital.” In return, he said, the elephants made him a better man. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude.   But Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Imperial Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite Force 136, the British dirty tricks department, operating behind enemy lines. His war elephants would carry supplies, build bridges, and transport the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain. Now well versed in the ways of the jungle, an older, wiser Williams even added to his stable by smuggling more elephants out of Japanese-held territory. As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams faced his most perilous test. In a Hollywood-worthy climax, Elephant Company, cornered by the enemy, attempted a desperate escape: a risky trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow. Elephant Bill’s exploits would earn him top military honors and the praise of famed Field Marshal Sir William Slim.   Part biography, part war epic, and part wildlife adventure, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9781400069330 (1400069335)
ASIN: 1400069335
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Pages no: 368
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Chris' Fish Place
Chris' Fish Place rated it
5.0 Mark the date - July 15, 2014
Disclaimer: Digital ARC provided via Random House and Netgalley. I can think of no higher praise than pointing out that after finishing this book, I ordered two other Croke books. Unless, the praise is that this book made me actually happy that the bus broke down because I could ...
Chris' Fish Place
Chris' Fish Place rated it
5.0 Full review later, but
I'll post a review this later this weekend. But let me just say that after finishing this book on the commute home (I was the only person on the broken bus who was not pissed off), I went to paperbackswap and got happy when I saw I could request two of other books. That is how awesome Croke is. ...
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