Flight by Elephant is the true account of their escape and gripping reading it is too. Andrew Martin has delved into the diaries of several key players, including Charles Rowland with his British bulldog prose; and the man for the rescue mission on the other side of the pass: Gyles Mackrell, a tea planter and former World War One fighter pilot, with a connection with elephants.
The fierce determination of Mackrell to see the rescue mission out, the battle fought against leeches, malaria and a monsoon in full swing are all vividly brought to life. Andrew Martin has added plenty of interesting detail about the characters of those involved, the political and cultural background, to say nothing of the terrible terrain and weather conditions the party encountered.
The book is also a tribute to the mahout guides, without whom the rescue could never have gone ahead. With Martin’s lively prose, Flight by Elephant reads more like an adventure novel than a historical account - a rip-roaring read about heroism against the odds.
Posted by JAM
Catalogue link: Flight by Elephant