Elephant Company: the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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 and his elephants 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. Praise for Elephant Company   "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 " Elephant Company is as powerful and big-hearted as the animals of its title. Billy Williams is an extraordinary character, a real-life reverse Tarzan raised in civilization who finds wisdom and his true self living among jungle beasts. Vicki Constantine Croke delivers an exciting tale of this elephant-whisperer-cum-war-hero, while beautifully reminding us of the enduring bonds between animals and humans." --Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time   "The true-life heroics of Elephant Company during World War II  highlight how animals and humans together can achieve extraordinary things. Croke's evocative writing and deep understanding of the animal-human bond bring vividly to life Elephant Bill's great passion and almost mystical connection with his magnificent beasts. This is a wonderful read." --Elizabeth Letts, author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion
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9780812981650
9781470397371
9780679603993
9781400069330
9781410476005
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Grouped Work IDd40d9b4c-3277-2244-fc91-15b86aa095ef
Grouping Titleelephant company the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives i
Grouping Authorcroke vicki
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2020-01-20 01:38:42AM
Last Indexed2020-01-20 02:09:44AM

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accelerated_reader_point_value0
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auth_author2Prebble, Simon,
authorVicki Croke
author2-rolePrebble, Simon,narrator.
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detailed_location_cmcCMC Leadville Campus
CMC Quigley Library
CMC Steamboat Campus
display_description"In 1920, Billy Williams came to colonial Burma as a "forest man" for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence and character of the great animals who hauled logs through the jungle, he became a gifted "elephant wallah". In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams's growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude. Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite British Force 136 and operated behind enemy lines. His war elephants carried supplies, helped build bridges, and transported the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain. As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams and his elephants faced their most perilous test. 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. Part biography, part war epic, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism"--Back cover.
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seriesThorndike Press large print peer picks
series_with_volumeThorndike Press large print peer picks|
subject_facetAnimals -- War use -- History -- 20th century
Animals in logging -- Burma -- History -- 20th century
Asiatic elephant -- Burma -- History -- 20th century
Audiobooks
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers
Bandoola -- (Elephant)
Biographies
Biography & Autobiography
Burma -- History -- Japanese occupation, 1942-1945
Electronic books
Elephant Company (Great Britain)
HISTORY / Military / World War II
History
Large type books
Military
Myanmar -- History -- Japanese occupation, 1942-1945
NATURE / Animals / General
Nonfiction
Sound recordings
Williams, J. H. -- (James Howard), -- 1897-1958
Working elephants -- Burma -- History -- 20th century
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Burma
title_displayElephant Company : the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II
title_fullElephant Company : the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II / Vicki Constantine Croke
Elephant Company The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
Elephant company [electronic resource] : The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II. Vicki Croke
Elephant company [sound recording] : the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II / Vicki Constantine Croke
Elephant company [text (large print)] : the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II / Vicki Constantine Croke
title_shortElephant Company
title_subthe inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II
topic_facetAnimals
Animals in logging
Asiatic elephant
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers
Bandoola
Biography & Autobiography
Campaigns
HISTORY / Military / World War II
History
Military
NATURE / Animals / General
Nonfiction
War use
Williams, J. H
Working elephants
World War, 1939-1945