World War Two produced a myriad of valiant individuals forged by the hardship and brutality of war. British guerilla hero Lieutenant-Colonel Freddie Spencer-Chapman was just one of these. What were the elements of his gallant service?

Answer: Spencer-Chapman was one of the fascinating characters of World War Two. After the fall of Singapore in 1942 he stayed behind organizing resistance and guerilla teams against the Japanese, blowing up bridges and trains and generally harassing the enemy.

Living in the humid, rain-filled jungles of Malaya for three years he was often sick with Malaria and other tropical diseases, losing 30 pounds in weight, then recovering and fighting on. Handsome and gallant he could have starred in a war film epic.

After the war he became somewhat of a celebrity. An explorer and mountain climber, he fathered a child by an Eskimo girl and was a compulsive adventurer. His war memoir The Jungle is Neutral became an international bestseller. The comparative boredom of later life took its toll. He was a warden at a residential hall at Reading University when in 1971 he took a gun and shot himself.

Sources: Farewell the Trumpet – An Imperial Retreat by James Morris; The Jungle is Neutral – by F Spencer Chapman

More at: History

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