Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Dotty Englishmen?? II.

This is coolbert:

Edward James Corbett. Known better to the world as Jim Corbett. Big game hunter/tracker/killer of rogue tigers and leopards/author/conservationist. Another Englishman who left a big mark on the world.

Did so in the military sphere as well as the civilian arena.

During the First World War [WW1], at age thirty nine [39], organized a British Indian work force that did labor work on the Western Front. Was successful in returning all but one of his five hundred [500] laborers back to India??!!

"during a recruitment campaign in the Great War, a force of over 5,000 and with himself as Captain took 500 of them to France in 1917. He returned with all but one in the following year."

A remarkable feat.

Sought to organize another work unit during World War Two [WW2]. Was sixty four [64] years old at the time!!

"in the Second World War Jim Corbett asked for duty and raised a labour corps and recruited 1,400 Kumaons and served from 1940 to 1942 as a Deputy Military Vice-President of district soldiers' boards."

Found more fruitful employ as an instructor for the British Army in jungle survival skills. Was commissioned as a Lt. Col. and served in a vigorous manner, actually damaging his health in the process.

"Corbett was 64 years old when World War II broke out. He volunteered to train Allied troops in the techniques of jungle survival, but the strain proved too much and he became very ill."

"In 1942 an attack of typhus reduced his weight from 12 and a half stone to 7 stone and he was told he would have to spend the rest of his life in a wheel-chair. Refusing to give way he recovered and was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel and trained men for jungle warfare in Burma despite serious illness. After a year of this strenuous life, in training camps in Central India, he had a bad attack of malaria."

Also, NOT "dotty". Again, a man of honor, vigor, principle, courage.

Click here, and here to read more about Corbett and his exploits. A most remarkable man.

[As a youth of say about eight years old, I recall very vividly reading the Reader's Digest version of the "Maneaters of Kumaon". The book that won fame for Corbett. At the time, I thought, "this is the greatest thing I have ever read". Exciting. Keep in mind that even at age eight, I was then as now, a prococious reader.]

To this day, the name Corbett is still revered in India. He is actually held in such esteem that he rates as a "sadhu". A holy man!!

"in India, religious or holy men. Sadhu signifies any religious ascetic or holy man. The class of sadhus includes not only genuine saints of many faiths but also men (and occasionally women) who have left their homes in order to concentrate on physical and spiritual disciplines"




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