Why not? After all, no-one had ever done it before. It would be one of the longest of all overland journeys, from the English Channel to Singapore. Several expeditions had already tried. Some had got as far as the deserts of Persia; a few had even reached the plains of India. But no-one had managed to go on from there: over the jungle-clad mountains of Assam and across northern Burma to Thailand and Malaya.
In late 1955, they set off. Six months, six days and 18,000 miles later, two very weary Land Rovers rolled into Singapore to flash-bulbs and champagne. Now, fifty years on, their bestselling book, First Overland, is republished with an introduction by Sir David Attenborough. After all, it was he who gave them that film.
On the 50th Anniversary of the Expedition, the 5 surviving members traveled once more to the Far East and recreated the last leg of their journey, covering the 350km from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore in glorious weather on March 4, 2006, and crossing to Singapore via the 2nd Link at Tuas and onwards to an evening of celebrations.
The following day, the five men – (L-R) Tim Slessor, Patrick Murphy, Antony Barrington Brown, Adrian Cowell & Nigel Newbery – did the one thing they forgot in 1956 – they followed Rudyard Kipling’s instruction to “Feed at Raffles” & enjoyed brunch at the Bar & Billiard Room and Singapore Slings at the Long Bar. Learn more about First Overland – the journey, the audio book, the 50th anniversary – on this website!
The mp3 CD version is now available – most CD players manufactured since 2000 will be able to play this without a problem, and it will play in any computer’s CD drive. If you’ve got a digital audio player like Apple’s iPod or a mp3 compatible player, you’ve got everything you need to enjoy First Overland on the move.
To whet your appetite, here’s the audiobook’s introduction, as read by Sir David Attenborough.
Buy the First Overland Audiobook mp3 CD for £9.99; Price includes FREE air-mail delivery worldwide.