In this episode we’ll be looking at two British soldiers in occupied Burma.
Major Hugh Seagrim operated for two years behind the Japanese lines, organising Karen resistance before he was eventually forced to surrender. Seagrim crosses paths with Roy Pagani, trying to make his way back to British army in India, after escaping as a POW working on the Burma railway. Pagani is a remarkable man he had already escaped from Dunkirk in 1940, and Singapore when it fell in 1942.
Uncovered in full for the first time is one of the last great untold stories of the Second World War; an epic tale of two Englishmen, who were among the most courageous and resourceful heroes of the most savage conflict in human history, yet who remain unknown in their own country. Lost Warriors of the Forgotten War tells the sensational, but little-known, story of Major Hugh Seagrim GC, DSO, MBE; the T.E. Lawrence of Burma, who volunteered to stay behind the Japanese lines for over two and a half years to raise an army amongst the loyal Karens of eastern Burma in the most successful guerrilla operation of the Second World War. Now forgotten, in 1946 his exploits were hailed as without doubt one of the epic stories of the whole war . Interwoven is the story of Roy, or Ras Pagani, who crossed paths with, and fought alongside, Seagrim in his own astonishing adventures. Pagani was one of the most resolute serial escapees of the war. After escaping alone from Dunkirk, and again from Singapore, he was the only European to escape successfully from the fearful Death Railway. In Seagrim he found an inspirational leader whom he would never forget, even as the war took them in different directions.
Joining me today is Phillip Davies.
Phillip is the author of Lost Warriors, Seagrim and Pagani of Burma The last great untold story of WWII.