Flemming Heilmann discusses Odyssey Uncharted, a memoir of his World War II childhood and education on four continents. His is a coming-of-age story against a backdrop of historical events and is shaped by immersion in the cultures of Southeast Asia, Australia, Denmark and England. Flemming was born in 1936 of Danish parents in what then was known as Malaya. Spending his early childhood there, he was forced by the Japanese invasion to evacuate to Australia in 1941. The family spent the war as refugees. When the war ended in Europe, and prior to Japanese capitulation, the family traveled home to Denmark on a troopship, evading kamikaze attacks in the Pacific. Flemming’s education spanned Australia, Denmark and the United Kingdom, where he spent four years at Gresham, a boarding school where he instigated a successful mutiny against a tyrannical headmaster, resulting in his being ousted. Vacations were spent in Malaya surviving terrorist attacks, meeting the King of Swaziland and confronting apartheid in South Africa. He graduated from Cambridge with a law degree. The memoir covers his life through his first job at age 22. After a 40-year career as an international business executive, Flemming now is retired and lives with his wife Judy in Rowayton. They have four sons, a daughter and nine grandsons.
Arranged by Sunil Saksena