However, I see that it is 368 pages and I worry she might get bored if it doesn't hold her attention (irrespective of her brightness and precociousness, she is after all a 12/13-year old girl). Guest Book; English. It’s a solid and easy read with some interesting pictures. Williams knew Field Marshall Slim and Orde Wingate. Nearby Experiences. ), This book is hard to classify because it covers so many subjects. I've been to Myanmar, I like elephants, I very much admire Vicki Constantine Croke as an author, but I wanted MORE from this book. James Howard “Billy” Williams was an avid outdoorsman. Along the way he develops a love and compassion not only for Burma but for the strong, intelligent, gentle beasts he meets and with whom he works. The New York Times 74,038 views. But most of all, you never forget the elephants! Don't get me wrong: fantastic book about an incredible guy... but very little of the book is about the elephants in WWII. This book is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. The best and most beautiful book I've read all year. If you are interested in WWII, this is a great novel for you. Before leaving Burma Williams could name a thousand elephants individually, which is something I find remarkable. Upon arrival, he was dispatched to an outlying camp and soon became intimately familiar with the native handlers (called uzis) and the elephants who were doing the serious work of hauling teak logs to dry creek beds where they would be washed downstream on arrival of the monsoon season. Ultimately a good tale, if the story did have me sobbing a few times. Also when the Japanese invade Burma and advance towards the small settlements, the hero of the story with some elephants are able to bring many Burmese and British families from Burma to safety in India. Photo / Grace Watson . No matter how many non-specialist books about elephants that I read, I … I found it very interesting and informative. For over 1000 years, the people of Burma have used domesticated elephants for a variety of purposes including transportation, construction, agriculture and war. While a portion of the book is about the elephant company in World War II, it is more about Jim Williams, better known as "Elephant Bill," who worked for the British to oversee logging operations in Burma after World War I. Yet this is also a story of great courage because when the Second World War struck, it also came to Burma. Traveling to Burma and signing on with a British teak lumber concern, he got his chance. James Howard Williams, also known as Elephant Bill (15 November 1897 – 30 July 1958), was a British soldier and elephant expert in Burma, known for his work with the Fourteenth Army during the Burma Campaign of World War II, and for his 1950 book Elephant Bill.He was made a Lieutenant-Colonel, mentioned in dispatches three times, and was awarded the OBE in 1945. But few know that this centuries-old tradition continues today among Asian elephants in the rainforests of India and Burma. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. All elephants are registered with the government, which keeps record books that document their work and medical history. In his new book titled for these elephants… 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. Mr. Williams arrived in Burma in 1920 following service in WWI to harvest teak for his British company. But few know that this centuries-old tradition continues today among Asian elephants in the rainforests of India and Burma. India Post News Service Humans have been living and working with elephants for millennia. This is a remarkable account of an Englishman's life in Burma before, during and after the Second World War. This book seems to be the truer version but is much more than that. Burma and Anjalee have both been at … The greatest story is the trek through 120 miles of impassable jungle and mountains to India during the Battle of Kohima when he has to take a convoy of elephants and dependents over a steep ridge that is all but impassable. Recommended. In. After reading this unforgettable story, I recommended it to three other people who immediately bought it. This is a book that encompasses everything I enjoy in a book. Deciding the situation in England is too unstable, Nick's mother sends him to live with his father in Burma, hoping he will be safer living on the family's teak plantation. I love elephants as well and did appreciate the interesting facts presented here about their unusual gifts - though it should be noted that this only amounts to a few pages - but I felt the other weaknesses of the book were much more salient. “Elephant Bill” Williams was a veteran of both World Wars. Guest Book; English. Since, as far as I could tell, no Burmese was ever consulted about the events in the book, the account seemed rather unbalanced, especially in the telling of this critical event. More recently, I read Jacob Shell’s book about Asian elephants in Burma and India, “ Giants of the Monsoon Forest.” He ends up advocating for using … Croke did not disappoint me! Today we would probably call him "The Elephant Whisperer." I enjoyed reading it, and also came across the book written by Elephant Bill's wife, which I look forward to reading (once it circulates through my book club! I love elephants as well and did appreciate the interesting facts presented here about their unusual gifts - though it should be noted that this only amounts to a few pages - but I felt the other weaknesses of the book were much more salient. (Elephant Bill) himself. Mesmerized by the intelligence and character of the great animals who hauled logs through … Refresh and try again. At first, the action isn't 'apparent', but keep reading! by Random House, Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II. If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you grow your business. But most of all, you never forget the elephants! India has the most, but the second-largest population of elephants in the world is found in Myanmar, with 4,000 in the wild and 4,000 in captivity. Disclaimer: Digital ARC provided via Random House and Netgalley. Mr. Williams arrived in Burma in 1920 following service in WWI to harvest teak for his British company. She praises her subject so much, it's hard to feel that one actually learns anything about him, and she seems to make use of his family papers almost exclusively, rather than drawing on any other historical sources. It's real, it's exciting and educational, it's emotional, enlightening, extremely satisfying and poignant. English; Français; Working elephants in the forests of Burma. 4 stars, Elephant Company / Vicki Constantine Croke - 3.5***, Readers' Most Anticipated Books of January. One might assume, based on title and subtitle, all 368 pages of "Elephant Company" is heavily entrenched in military jargon, battlefields, and horrific war imagery; typically not themes animal lovers and humanitarians gravitate toward. A dark secret spans several... 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. The Forgotten Highlander: An Incredible WWII Story of Survival in the Pacific, Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II, The Night Portrait: A Novel of World War II and da Vinci's Italy. –Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants in The New York Times Book Review. The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (Elephant Whisperer, 1), Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story, Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived, An Elephant in My Kitchen: What the Herd Taught Me about Love, Courage and Survival, The Lady and the Panda: The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal, The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures, “I have to confess—my love of elephants made me apprehensive to review a book about their role in World War II. This is a fascinating story. . It even finished off after the war and what happened to the main characters. You learn a lot about elephant behavior and this testosterone fueled state male elephants go into called musth in which they can become uncontrollable. Please try again. New this month: Scandal rocks an elite British boarding school in The Divines. With regard to elephant management in Myanmar, elephants were first legally protected under the Elephant Preservation Act 1879 (Saw Han, 1984) that regulated hunting and capture. This should be titled "In the Company of Elephants" rather than "Elephant Company" because the first two thirds of the book is all pre World War II and it's the most engaging part. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. Burma offers the best hope for the survival of large herds of wild elephants He was a player in the CBI Theater with his skill set. That is because he spent 25 years living with the elephants in the mountains and forests of Burma. It's romantic but at the same time realistic; the typical eccentric Brit seeking solitude in the forests of Burma after surviving the horrors of World War I. I'm torn on this book. After Burma’s last king fled into exile, the British drafted elephants to work in the lucrative teak-logging industry. Unfailingly? You read it as a small child, or even an adult, and never forget the images it conjures up of a wonderful Englishman who lives in the mysterious forests of faraway Burma and of the kind native people who teach him about their lovely country. It's written in a very interesting way. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. 1940. Elephant Company The Inspiring Story of An Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II (Book) : Croke, Vicki : "At the onset of World War II, [Billy] Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees, including on his own 'Hannibal Trek,' [becoming] a media sensation during the war, telling reporters … In 1942, when the Japanese invaded Burma, Williams joined a British Special Forces unit that specialized in guerrilla warfare. He even found the love of his life in the jungle, a niece of another teak man, who was visiting him in the middle of nowhere. The man is amazing, but the elephants steal the show. There he trained them to haul teak logs out of the isolated jungles. I highly recommend this book, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2020. Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2014. Quick View. It is a fascinating study of elephants and life with them. The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (CROWN). Asian elephants are found in 13 countries. At present there must be many Burmese who find themselves in this position for tha first time because of the policy of " Burmanisation " of the timber industry, which was controlled until recently by Europeans. But as soon as Nick arrives, trouble erupts in this remote Burmese elephant village. Great true adventure book: How elephants helped to win a war, Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2014. But as soon as I began to read. There's a problem loading this menu right now. The last third is about the war in Burma, but it was mostly glossed over with the most of that section telling of William's exodus from … She's very bright, worldly, trilingual kid so I'm thinking this might be good. More info. Individuals are allowed to make such statements of hyperbole, we excuse individuals their enthusiasm, but when a biographer states such things as fact, it is simply ridiculous – she could have easily put this in his own words (which is how I suspect she wanted to write the entire book, but perhaps only had fragments) or allowed some qualifiers, “thought, said, seemed, appeared.” Yes, they’re awkward, but when you’re writing non-fiction you need to stick to the facts. While elephants did play a big part in the war in Burma, the book is really about Elephant Bill and the elephants he loved. Burma Elephant Report EleAid trustee Charles Begley has long had an interest in the status and circumstances of elephants in Burma. Quick View. Individuals are allowed to make such statements of hyperbole, we excuse individuals their enthusiasm, but when a biographer states such things as fact, it is simply ridi. In 1920, Williams took a job in the teak business, drawn by the lure of working with the … Welcome back. Looking for adventure and a change of scenery, he accepted a job with a British company in Burma (known as Myanmar today) that was harvesting teak from the jungles. Croke tells the story of Bill Williams and also Bandoola, an unusual male bull elephant. Please try again. He elected to try the hard life in Burma as a Forest Assistant with the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation which milled teak. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, Or get 4-5 business-day shipping on this item for $5.99 These elephants have survived ancient wars, colonialism and World War II while hard woods extracted by elephants in Myanmar once fed the British naval fleet. It's a history, and adventure yarn, biography, and tale of man and beast. It’s full of overblown colonial-romanticism, yet from a contemporary author - pure weirdness! Bill Williams was called "Elephant Bill" and was a man of some renown in the British Empire. Our most popular tours and activities. A harrowing account of true wartime events in which impossible obstacles were faced and the hero was not always human. The amazing part of the book was how the elephants faithfully … Unexpected relationship between elephants & humans of Burma (Book Review) May 02. [All the poo figures are maximums of course, they may do "much" less. Discover Taiwan’s story—a story of an island that walks a tightrope searching for its identity, balance, and fate. Start by marking “Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father's plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants, risking their lives to save Nick's father and Mya's brother from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Print This Article Share it With Friends. New books! A little over 2/3 of the book is about James Williams and the start of his career in Burma with a logging company. I loved this book although I love books with animals and their relationships with people. Books Best Sellers & more Top New Releases Deals in Books School Books Textbooks Books Outlet Children's Books Calendars & Diaries Audible Audiobooks Unlimited One-Day Delivery and more Prime members enjoy fast & free shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and many more exclusive benefits. And how do you quantify that? And I try to be understanding of the practices of a century ago, given the societal context, and also admire "Elephant Bill" for doing his best to go against those practices as his exposure to the elephants made him realize how emotionally complex and admirable they are. How To Revive Dying Plant : … 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 champi, 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. She told me she sat and cried when she finished the story. That is because he spent 25 years living with the elephants in the mountains and forests of Burma. Please help. The portion of the book devoted to the war is relatively small, but by the time I reached this part of the book I was totally engrossed in the story of Billy Williams and the amazing elephants. The author is oddly uncritical of both her subject and the broader colonial milieu in which he operates; in that respect, the book reminded me of Roald Dahl. Although his elephants did good work building bridges and leading refugees to India, barely escaping the clutches of the brutal Japanese, "Elephant Bill's" elephants were not vital or even important. Random House Trade Paperbacks; Illustrated edition (April 14, 2015), Previous page of related Sponsored Products. But it's all relative isn't it? by India Post Newspaper 0 Comments . She then promptly emailed her mother in Seattle and sister in Wisconsin to acquire a copy as soon as they could. It chronicles Burmese jungle culture and how that conflicts with British colonialism, Jim's affinity with the elephants, This was the March selection for my in-person book club. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 12, 2015. How do you explain these. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. India Post News Service Humans have been living and working with elephants for millennia. Elephants were key partners in felling trees, getting them to rivers, and penetrating the jungle. A side tangent in this book is the loyalty of the Burmese throughout the trials and tribulations of their colonial occupiers. I really liked it. This is an interesting and easy read. Burma (Myanmar): List of locations whith elephants in Burma (Myanmar) in the elephant database An animal lover since childhood, it was the desire to work with the Elephants that drew him to Burma in 1920 and over the next quarter century "Billy" Williams achieved a legendary reputation as an elephant handler and expert. Elephants have played a crucial role in the exploitation of teak for over 200 years. Setting off on elephant back, they will risk their lives to save Nick’s father and Mya’s brother from a Japanese POW camp. English; Français; Working elephants in the forests of Burma. Elephant Bill worked in the teak forests of Burma, with elephants and "oozies" (their devoted handlers). If you want to discover two crucial periods in the history of India without reading boring textbooks, then check out this book! I wish all the poachers could read this book NOW! Read the original book by the man himself, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2015. Croke accepts what Williams concluded, the Po Toke had killed the elephant rather than see anyone else become his handler, and she rather stolidly presents Williams’ conclusions with no additional commentary. Mesmerized by the intelligence, ... Vicki Croke will discuss her best-selling book Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II, which chronicles Williams’ life. When WWII comes to Burma, Jim Williams goes to heroic lengths to save not only people, but his elephants as well. Elephants have played a crucial role in the exploitation of teak for over 200 years. We’d love your help. Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II, Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives…. The essay describes the experience of the English narrator, possibly Orwell himself, called upon to shoot an aggressive elephant while working as a police officer in Burma. I'm always on the lookout for books that might interest my 12 (soon to be 13) year old daughter. It is almost unbelievable at times that this is a true story and these events actually happened. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. The Mughal Empire and British Raj: A Captivating Guide to the History of India, Sta... To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Always? The story is set in the British-conquered Burma. If you thought Chimpanzees could handle tools, you should read about elephants building roads and bridges and solving engineering problems along the way! Some examples of the ridiculousness: “Bath time for the elephants was always a draw for Williams, who was unfailingly moved by their joy.” Oh really? 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