White Butterflies

$26.00 SGD

Colin McPhedran
With a foreword by Ian McPhedran and an Afterword by Verona Burgess


After the Japanese invasion of Burma in late 1941, 11-year-old Colin McPhedran fled his homeland on foot, crossing the rugged Patkoi Mountain Ranges on foot to reach safety in India. Colin, along with his mother, elder brother and sister and thousands of others, many of whom died, battled monsoon rains, hunger, disease and exhaustion during the 500-kilometre journey.

McPhedran’s autobiography recalls his childhood as part of a large Anglo-Burmese family in colonial Burma, and provides a dramatic account of his harrowing trek to freedom. He eventually settled in Australia, where his memoir was first published. This edition, issued in Southeast Asia for the first time, includes a new afterword that supplies details left out of the story as originally published.


“It [is] important that true stories of the refugee experience be told. Prejudice tends to crumble when people find that the debate is really about ordinary humans who have suffered terribly, survived, and seek a chance to build new lives. White Butterflies is such a story... an astonishing record of starvation, endurance and loss…” - Peter Cole-Adams

Colin McPhedran’s book features a new foreword from his son, noted journalist and writer Ian McPhedran, and an Afterword from his daughter-in-law Verona Burgess.

Publication Year: 2017
288 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-981-4722-67-4, Paperback

Ridge Books