British Hero ‘The Elephant Man’ Rescue Seen on Film

November 1st, 2010 - 11:47 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Nov 1 (THAINDIAN NEWS) New footage has been released of the unsung British hero of World War II known as the ‘Elephant Man’, with photos which are being seen for the first time of the amazing rescue dubbed “Far Eastern Dunkirk” in which the fifty-three year old tea farmer saved the lives of two hundred Burmese refugees by hauling them to safety from the flooded banks of the river on the backs on elephants.

Gyles Mackrell was followed by the press during those days, and they began to call him “The Elephant Man”. Although there were many videos and still shots taken of his rescue, the story was soon archived and lay dormant for years.

But donations of such items as letters, diaries, and amateur video shots of the rescue has been given to the Centre of South African Studies at the University of Cambridge by his niece. They are being studied by researchers, which will revive interest in his story and hopefully uncover other heroes of that time. The videos will be released on the University’s Youtube site.

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