1939-1945, animals and human relationships, Asiatic elephant, Bandoola (Elephant), Burma history, Elephant Company (Great Britain), Japanese occupation 1942-1945, teak logging, war use of elephants, working elephants, World War
A newly published book that is pure joy to read! I have always been intrigued by individuals who are able to communicate with animals. Meet British Billy Williams who, in the 1920’s, retreats to the Burma teak forests to heal from his service in WWI. He joins a complex jungle world populated with the largest mammals on earth – many of whom were hurting more than he. Billy convinces the higher-ups to create an elephant “school” and “hospital”. Through his love and experience with the elephants, he tells us he becomes a better man. His greatest friendship was with the mighty tusker, Bandoola, who will not fail Williams’ call to lead in an unforgettable WWII rescue of man and beast. As the famous General Slim said of Elephant Bill – “This is a story of how a man, over the years, by character, patience, sympathy and courage, gained the confidence of men and animals, so that when the time of testing came, that mutual trust held.”
“I have to confess—my love of elephants made me apprehensive to review a book about their role in World War II. But as soon as I began to read Elephant Company, I realized that not only was my heart safe, but that this book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . [Vicki] Croke is a natural storyteller. . . . Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale, masterfully written.”—Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review
“A spellbinding, true story of elephantine and human courage, set in one of the Earth’s most exotic jungles during the Second World War, Elephant Company is a triumph that will make you cheer!”—Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig and Journey of the Pink Dolphins
If this book becomes a favorite of yours, you may want to read Modoc : the True Story of the Greatest Elephant that Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer, My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence, Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh, or Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.