Distant and Dangerous Days in Burma and China PDF ePub eBook

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Distant and Dangerous Days in Burma and China free pdf (revised edition March 2014) INTRODUCTION author's reasons for writing the book. Throughout book accounts of history in the Far East explain what was happening when many letters from several sources and a book and diary were written by her mother, Josephine Chapman. CHAPTER 1 'A young Englishwoman arrives in China in 1926' The first letter from Marian Chapman aged 23 describes civil war in Shanghai and the second her trouble with the language, difficulties making ends meet, and hostility to foreigners she experienced. First three chapters discuss complexities in recent history, weakening and fall of Qing Dynasty, Opium Wars, contradictory attitudes to Christianity, new Republic 1911 and Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek (with an old newspaper cutting) beginnings of Communist Party, Japanese invasion through 1930's, occupation of Manchuria,Japan walking out of the League of Nations, Marian's wedding, birth of her 3 children in different places, old photos of work in the Chinese church, and chapter 3 ends by introducing Marian's younger sister, Josephine and future husband Christopher Lewis and his sister Dorothy who all spoke fluent Burmese, leading into CHAPTER 4. CHAPTER 4 'Burma - a clash of cultures and religions' contains many photos of Burma taken between 1937-66 including pagodas, schools and churches, ruby mines, paddy fields, teak logging, Burmese people. There is historical and religious background, Anglo-Burmese wars, stories of difficulties of early missionaries, stories relating to conflicts between religions, political unrest leading up to onset of war 1941. CHAPTER 5 'Invasion' contains first section of Josephine's diary begun 4 days before Pearl Harbour. Shows her travels doing her work and unexpected and savage air raids in Rangoon, destruction and chaos and indecision, much travelling, crowded trains and boats, thousands of refugees leaving Rangoon, photos of Rangoon, delta villages and Christians in an air raid, fears of Karen Christians (more stories are in later chapter) Japanese propaganda leaflets, she begins her journey with others in cars and buses, a map detailing the journey, more journeys ferrying children around, descriptions of Mandalay during air raids, crowded boats and trains, difficulties with transporting children, confusion and danger with constant worries about the Japanese. Contemporary events such as the fall of Singapore in February and significant battles during the advance of the Japanese are added to diary text showing how close they were. Josephine realises she will have to walk to India. CHAPTER 6 'A hard walk over the hill into India' She treks with strangers through tough country, with accounts of boats and rafts, walking through rivers and climbing jungle clad mountains, remote villages, living on rice and tea. Some photos of jungle country, village people, boats and rafts. She reaches India and safety, and wrote further accounts she heard later of the fate of the children and others. Two accounts of similar treks through the jungle by a soldier and doctor are quoted next with permission from Burma Star website. CHAPTER 7 'Experiences in war-torn Burma 1942-45' Map of Japanese Empire 1942, mention of Japanese extreme loyalty to their Emperor. War accounts by George Appleton (later Archbishop of Jerusalem), Karen Christians at Kappali village, John Hla Gyaw's story, stories of conflicts between Buddhists and Christians and survivals of imprisonment and torture by the Japanese, summary of part of Burma Campaign, quotation from speech to the press by Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1944, account written in 2012 by veteran John M Ellis of his part in Burma Campaign. CHAPTER 8 'A family escapes from China to England in 1943' is constructed around memories written in 2012 by Marian's three children, with accounts of events in China and India inserted around their accounts, journey started with six weeks in army trucks from Gweilin to Kunming, flying 'over the hump' to India, long train journeys by train to Bombay, family survived living in caves for about six weeks, struggling to find enough food, journey on troop ship through Suez Canal with stays in camps by the canal ,the illness of one child, eventually arriving in England with no money. CHAPTER 9 'The beginning of the end' Brief account of final stages of Burma Campaign, photo of Burmese man and child in village, and flooded river, background to Potsdam Declaration, wording of the Declaration addressed to the Japanese nation is quoted in full, further fighting, dropping of Atom bombs, final surrender, photo Taukkyan War Cemetery with details of those buried and inscriptions. CHAPTER 10 'Return to Burma, Independence, a bullet in a bible and a baby in a drawer.' Josephine returned to Burma December 1945, there are extracts from her book, descriptions of Burma after the war, photo of bullocks, stories of tribute at graves of Burmese people killed in the war, account of life and assassination of Aung San and associated political events, photo of statue of Aung San, wedding of Josephine and Christopher Rangoon Cathedral and their move to Maymyo, photos Maymyo, newspaper report of Burmese Independence January 1948, birth of their first child, September 1948, reports of civil wars, Josephine's letters home are suddenly interrupted by fighting, escape to Rangoon losing everything, work restoring Cathedral, a moving visit from Japanese sailor with a letter he wrote, holiday in Shan states, return to England 1951, descriptive extracts from Josephine's book, photos Burmese people, mention of Joe (Marian's husband)brief return to China with photos leaving before new People's Republic in 1949. CHAPTER 11 'Dangerous times continued' Summary of some events under Mao Tse-Tung, photo Josephine and Christopher Cornwall 1950's, summary some events in Burma 1950's - 2012, photo Rangoon 1966, letter in Burmese written by Josephine, photos taken 2012 of farming, a monastery, the famous gate to Aung San Suu Kyi's house, a monk and Burmese children. IMAGES OF MYANMAR 2012 , 42 photos from trips 2012 with brief captions, book ends with 2 quotations 'Memory is a net: one finds it full of fish when one takes it from the brook- but a dozen miles of water have run through it without sticking.' 'Nothing is the beginning, there was always more that had happened before.' and NOTES WITH REFERENCES

About Elizabeth Tebby Germaine

ELIZABETH TEBBY GERMAINE I was born in 1951 two months after my parents arrived back in England from Burma. They may have intended to return, but chose not to initially and later were not able to because of the military government and prolonged civil wars which they had experienced first hand. My aunt, Dorothy Lewis (who took most of the photos) had to leave the country in 1966. We grew up with Burma in the background with pretty lacquerware in the house and pictures of Burma on the walls and when they wanted a private conversation they would speak in the soft melodious Burmese language with much laughter and mysterious looks. As a child I absorbed my parents' love for the country and their sadness that they were not able to return. My brother and I heard the story that our mother had walked '200 miles in 17 days' not yet knowing that she had in fact been one of tens of thousands of refugees of many races who fled the Japanese invasion of Burma, along with the forced retreat of what military forces were then available in 1942. As a child I imagined her wading through rivers sparkling in the sunshine, not knowing this was a trek through the harsh inhospitable terrain of the jungles and mountains with the ever present threat of disease, exhaustion and starvation and the fast advancing Japanese armies. In my 20's I trained as an English teacher, wrote stories, draft novels and plays but then left writing for a while, re-trained and followed a career as a pianist and piano and violin teacher. I planned to return to writing at a later time in life. At some stage I read my mother's detailed diary and discussed with her the possibility of publishing it in some way, but this never happened at the time. After she died in 2006, and after the shock of seeing TV reports of the demonstrations in Burma in 2007 when many monks and ordinary people were killed and imprisoned I started to put this book together. I also had a large collection of old slides and photographs of a country which was inaccessible for many years and felt that these were of great interest to a wider audience. My love of literature and history made this writing task enjoyable and rewarding. My life as a vicar's daughter has resulted in a life long interest in comparative religions from an agnostic viewpoint, and so when faced with the task of collecting together material about missionaries the historical and political aspects of this story were what interested me the most. I have at all times sought to be objective and have avoided presenting the story from any specific viewpoint. While collecting material together from my cousins about their family in China I became fascinated by the complexities and contradictions of movements and rebellions in China and the hostile atmosphere into which my aunt travelled. Only 25 years previously many missionaries had been massacred in the Boxer Rebellion. Despite this there are five very interesting old photos that survive showing that it was possible to do some work in the church. My three cousins were born in different places, suggesting the family had an unsettled time during the civil war and Japanese invasion and by 1943 many Europeans had already left the country, but this family seemed particularly vulnerable and disorganised and this made their story all the more compelling. Since writing the book I have had a number of interesting experiences which have brought home even more forcibly what my mother went through and how tough she must have been. There is a lot of detail in her diary but at times she understated the dangers and difficulties of her journey. I felt strongly I wanted to complete my own writing project before reading a number of other books on the subject, and was aware that I could have researched this subject for many months. I decided instead to link the original letters and diary together with history of the times that was already well known and documented and present them alongside significant contemporary events of which there were many. There were several books I had intended to read and finally did when mine was completed. The first was 'Exodus Burma' by Felicity Goodall published in 2011. This is a harrowing book full of highly detailed accounts of many of the refugees, hundreds of whom did not survive the journey. Then on page 135 I had a startling moment - in an extract from the diary of Fred Tizzard, a Irrawaddy Flotilla Company captain there is a description of my own mother. There were details in it connected with children from an orphan's home she was helping which made it unmistakeably her. (In her own diary she mentioned an IFC captain without writing his name - this may well be the same person.) I then read 'Bewitched by Burma' by Anne Carter, and a similar thing happened. In her account of the same time in history Anne wrote that a Miss Chapman accompanied her uncle Padre Garrad on a trip to Sagaing, taking a break from the bombing of Mandalay in 1942. Anne Carter quoted some words written by my mother, and I discovered she had had a carbon copy of a fragment of Josephine's diary in her uncle's papers which she had quoted without asking my permission as she had not previously known of my existence. The surprises were not yet over. I then discovered a book 'Weathering the Storm' that Josephine Chapman had written in 1946. There may have been a copy in our house but I had not noticed it or realised its significance until now. She herself had not mentioned it to me. This was a very exciting find and luckily I was able to get hold of an old copy straight away. I was given permission by the publisher to use extracts and I knew immediately that I had to do a revised edition of DISTANT AND DANGEROUS DAYS IN BURMA AND CHINA. Of particular interest were stories of her own travels, descriptions of Burma after the war, comments comparing Buddhism and Christianity and in particular her accounts of conversations she had with people who had survived the war in Burma which fitted well into my chapter 7 which was renamed - 'Experiences in war-torn Burma 1942-45'. Since then I have discovered yet another account about the thousands of escaping refugees in the book - 'The Story of Burma' by F Tennyson Jesse also published in 1946. This is an author I had already mentioned in my own book as her fascinating and carefully researched historical novel - 'The Lacquer Lady' gives a stunning insight into life in the Burmese Court around the time of the third Anglo-Burmese war in 1885, and when writing an earlier draft of my book an interesting old letter that had been written by my father from Mandalay in 1938 was discovered (by my brother). It was inside an old family copy of 'The Lacquer Lady' which had sat on our bookshelves for many years. I included this letter in my chapter 4 - 'Burma - a clash of cultures and religions'. In her fascinating book 'The Story of Burma' there was information I had not previously seen about the numbers evacuated from the strategic airfield at Myitkyina before it was taken by the Japanese in May 1942. (Descriptions of air raids at this airfield appear in 'Exodus Burma' and my mother's diary). On my website www.elizabethtebbygermaine.co.uk I have copied book reviews I have written on Amazon of 'The Story of Burma" and 'Weathering the Storm' by Josephine Chapman. There is also one of 'Forgotten Voices of Burma' by Julian Thompson which made a vivid impression on me because many details included in the descriptions of soldiers and civilians retreating in Burma were of similar places and conditions that my mother had described in her diary.

Details Book

Author : Elizabeth Tebby Germaine
Publisher : Anona Publications
Data Published : 26 February 2014
ISBN : 099266943X
EAN : 9780992669430
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 210 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
Rating :

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