“Pursuit of the Golden Lily” is a new novel by R. Emery, inspired by her father's WWII POW diary. Initially documenting the author's journey to return the diary to Thailand where it was written, the Blog now follows her experiences as she self-publishes, launches the novel and reflects on topics woven into the narrative.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Forgotten Heroes of WWII - Pacific Theater: Force 136

Major Hugh Paul Seagrim GC DSO MBE (1909-1944) 
 Nicknamed - 'Grandfather Longlegs'
One aspect of research that I relish more than anything, is discovering incredible people on whom I can base a character. As I was seeking a covert British team (to include in my plot), that would have been operating in the jungles of Burma during WWII, I came across Force 136, and subsequently the amazing story of Major Seagrim. Force 136 was a covert group of British commandos fashioned after Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive (S.O.E.) that operated behind enemy lines in Europe. The preliminary S.O.E. team in Burma was called the 'Oriental Mission'.
The British Royal Air Force meticulously trained thousands of men from the Karen Hill Tribe, to bolster the ranks of British agents. The clandestine war Force 136 waged on the Japanese invaders, was strategically significant. You can read a more in-depth Article here.
Major Hugh Seagrim was one of Force 136's heroes. He loved the Karen people, and when the Japanese began waging a campaign of destruction against Karen villages, Major Seagrim heroically surrendered himself to the Japanese Imperial Army for execution, in exchange for the lives of the village inhabitants. The last two Survivors of Force 136 were found in 2009 within a mile of where their commander, Major Hugh Seagrim surrendered.
There are surely many unsung heroes of all wars, and in all walks of life. I am humbled when I learn of one. It reminds me of the great potential that resides within humanity. This is what gives me hope in the face of continuing horrors playing out on the global stage.
I am almost ready to publish Pursuit of the Golden Lily, please stay tuned - sign up for BLOG updates so you will be the first to know when the book is available! 

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