John Henry Patterson (1867 - 1947)
Lieutenant-Colonel John Henry Patterson, DSO (10 November 1867 – 18 June 1947), known as J.H. Patterson, was an Anglo-Irish soldier, hunter, author and Zionist, best known for his book The Man-Eaters of Tsavo (1907), which details his experiences while building a railway bridge over the Tsavo river in Kenya in 1898-99. In the 1996 Paramount Pictures film The Ghost and the Darkness, he was portrayed by actor Val Kilmer. Patterson was born in 1867 in Forgney, Ballymahon, County Westmeath, Ireland, to a Protestant father and Roman Catholic mother. Young Patterson joined the British Army at the age of seventeen, rose quickly through the ranks, and eventually attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Essex Yeomanry, retiring from the military in 1920. In 1898, Patterson was commissioned by the British East Africa Company to oversee the construction of a railway bridge over the Tsavo river in present-day Kenya. He arrived at the site in March of that year.
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