When the Japanese invaded Malaya during World War II it seemed that John Davis's service in the country had come to an end. But nothing could have been further from the truth. Davis switched from the Federated Malay States Police to the Intelligence world, first with MI6 and then with SOE. Margaret Shennan tells the extraordinary, untold story of this courageous hero of the Second World War who planned the infiltration of Chinese intelligence agents and British officers into the Malayan peninsula. Yet Davis was more than a wartime hero. A fluent Cantonese speaker, he became an iconic figure in Malaya's colonial story, playing a fundamental part in its post-war history when during the Communist Emergency he confronted Chin Peng, leader of the Communist Party; he also witnessed the country's emergence as an independent nation state. Margaret Shennan uncovers the radical and temperamental man whose propensity to challenge the decisions of his superior officers did not always make him an easy comrade, but whose courage and determination to get the job done won him loyalty and respect.
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Margaret Shennan is a historian and full-time writer. Born in Kuching, Sarawak (now East Malaysia), her early years were spent near Penang, at Butterworth (now West Malaysia). Her schooldays in the Cameron Highlands ended abruptly with the Japanese invasion of Malaya. Her books include Berthe Morisot: First Lady of Impressionism, Missee, and the acclaimed Out in the Midday Sun: The British in Malaya 1880-1960.
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