Long, long ago, when the little island of Ceylon was ruled by the British and herds of mighty elephants meandered in the Central Highlands, a brave officer by the name of Thomas William Rogers arrived in the island. He was a devil to the elephants, a saviour to the locals and this is his incredible story in a nutshell.

Cemetery of Major Thomas William Rogers

It was the year 1824. Ceylon was a flourishing island guided and controlled by the British. Buildings were being constructed everywhere and plans to make this small island nation great were also being drawn up. But there was just one problem. There were too many elephants in the villages! These elephants were notorious for wreaking havoc wherever they went. They destroyed the crops and left the villagers exasperated and hopeless.

Starting work in Sri Lanka

And then the 20 year old Thomas William Rogers arrived in the country.

He started shooting and killing the elephants that were troubling the locals. In 11 years, he killed more than 1,400 elephants! In fact it is said that he himself lost count of the number of elephants that he killed in the later years. Yes it was an atrocious crime against the wildlife of the country, but the villagers did not see him as a criminal. No, he was hailed as a redeemer.

Cemetery of Major Thomas William Rogers

 

This man with a gun was invincible. Only once was he attacked by an injured elephant and even then, he survived. But nature achieved what the defenceless elephants couldn’t and on the 7th of June 1845 Major Thomas William died tragically, after he was struck by lightning.

He was buried just behind the Nuwara Eliya Golf Course. A tombstone was erected in his memory and a moat was constructed around the cemetery to keep the elephants from entering the territory. But once again, nature achieved what the elephants couldn’t and his tomb was also struck by lightning,

Cemetery of Major Thomas William Rogers

Get in touch with Green Holiday Centre and have a tour to the enchanting Hill Country of Sri Lanka arranged. You will be able to visit this legendary destination as well as other key points of interest in the city with ease this way!

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