A Thousand Battles

An Intelligence Officer's Battle Behind Enemy Lines in Wartime Burma

Serena Merton

Born in Canada in 1905 to a British father and a Swiss mother, Cecil Gerald Merton studied forestry at Cambridge before starting work as an Assistant Forestry Manager in 1930.
Date Published :
May 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
35 b&w illustrations, 5 b&w maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914377419
Pages : 122
Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Available
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$29.95

Overview
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Born in Canada in 1905 to a British father and a Swiss mother, Cecil Gerald Merton studied forestry at Cambridge before starting work as an Assistant Forestry Manager in 1930. He was to spend the next decade living in the jungles of Burma with his wife and two small daughters.  

War came to his corner of South East Asia in early 1942; he joined the 2 Burma Rifles and walked out of Burma in the Retreat to India, finally arriving in Imphal in May 1942. Not knowing if his wife and children were alive or dead, he became one of the first officers of The Johnnies, part of Z Force, an intelligence gathering group behind enemy lines in the jungles and highlands of Burma. Volunteering for every mission over the next three years, he battled illness, monsoon rains, mile-wide rivers, leeches, wild animals, disease, thirst and hunger; all the while fighting against the cruelest of enemies and his own personal demons; fearing for the lives of his loved ones.

Awarded the MC and bar for his bravery as ‘one of the finest Patrol Leaders in Z Force’, he survived the war to be reunited with his wife and children.

About The Author
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Serena lives with her husband and dogs in rural South Warwickshire, where they brought up their three children, who have now fled the nest. Military (but especially cavalry) blood flows through her veins - being the daughter, granddaughter, great-granddaughter ad infinitum of soldiers and the wife of an ex-cavalry officer. This is her debut book, which was brought about by a chance discovery of the existence of the grave of her grandfather’s charger, Hopit. This set her off on a voyage of discovery into military history, research and the somewhat trickier investigation into the bloodline and life of one great war horse.

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