Captain Light played a pivotal part in the most famous chapter in Phuket's history: the routing of the invading Burmese army in 1785. The Burmese had been repelled a year earlier but returned in a large fleet – which was spotted by the Captain. He lost no time in alerting the authorities in Phuket.
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The island's governor had just passed away so the challenge of organising its defence was taken up by his widow, Kunying Jan. She and her sister Mook assembled what forces they could and, according to legend, disguised local women as male soldiers, thus making Phuket's military manpower seem invincible. The Burmese eventually lost heart and left after a month's siege and as a result King Rama 1 awarded Kunying Jan with the royal title of ‘Thao Thep Kasattri'.