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News and Information from the Ruth Enlow Library

Book Discussion of
Part biography, part war epic, and an inspirational narrative

The Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County will host a discussion of Vicki Constantine Croke’s Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II on Wednesday, May 17, 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Oakland Library. Beth Luers, retired professor of humanities at Garrett College, will lead the discussion. To register for this program, contact Bonnie at 301-334-3996 x117 or bonnie@relib.net. The library has limited copies of the paperback book available for those who register, as well as copies in the system’s online catalog for checkout.

“In 1920, Billy Williams came to colonial Burma as a ‘forest man’ for a British teak company,” reads the book jacket description. “Mesmerized by the intelligence and character of the great animals who hauled logs through the jungles, he became a gifted ‘elephant wallah.’ In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’ 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 his 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.”

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