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Henrietta Thompson gives an account of receiving this note of introduction at the Rangoon airport in June 1972 (where she had arranged to meet Tun Shein); After being searched by the authorities, she remembers,

“I gathered up my belongings, and to my astonishment there was a little note in my right hand. I had no idea how it got there and it scared me....It said, ‘Mrs. Thompson U Tun Shein. With Brown Jerkin & green checked shirt.’ Just then a smiling gentlemen accompanied by a boy came up to me and said, ‘Welcome! I am Tun Shein.’”

Tun Shein was part of the 1942 Walkout from Burma/Myanmar to India led by General Joseph Stilwell. The political climate in Burma changed radically in the early 1940s, and when the Seminary Tun Shein had been attending closed, he joined Baptist Missionary and surgeon Dr. Seagrave, and later walked out of Burma with Seagrave and the nurses working for Seagrave, including Tun Shein’s future wife, Lulu. Many of the accounts Thompson collected from participants of the Walkout praise Tun Shein’s resourcefulness and tirelessness, recounting in particular the way his knowledge of jungle plants and his hours of foraging supplemented the group’s very limited food supply.


Rangoon, Burma, Myanmar, Dr. Seagrave, Burmese missionaries, Walkout, Stilwell, WWII, South East Asia, South East Asian History, Tun Shein, U Tun Shein


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