Alistair Urquhart was a soldier in the Gordon Highlanders captured by the Japanese in Singapore. He not only survived working on the notorious Bridge on the River Kwai , but he was subsequently taken on one of the Japanese ‘hellships’ which was torpedoed. Nearly everyone else on board died and Urquhart spent 5 days alone on a raft in the South China Sea before being rescued by a whaling ship. He was taken to Japan and then forced to work in a mine near Nagasaki. Two months later a nuclear bomb dropped just ten miles away . . .
This is the extraordinary story of a young men, conscripted at nineteen and whose father was a Somme Veteran, survived not just one, but three close encounters with death - encounters which killed nearly all his comrades.
©2010 Alistair Urquhart (P)2010 Hachette Digital
I fell in love with Alistair Urquhart. I cried and cheered and I learned so much more about WW2 than I thought possible in one man's story. That he was still dancing 5 days a week at age 90 (2010) is a testimony to his strength of mind and body. 3 hours and 14 minutes that I highly recommend.
A simply horrofying story! I am amazed that this man did not die, or went insane!
Never in my wilded fantasy did I think the Japanese was this cruel. READ IT! It is an eyeopener. Only critical point is that the book is abridged. I would have liked to read the entire book, as the story seems a bit short.
This amazing book by Mr. Alistair Uquhart is superbly narrated by Mr. David Rintoul. It is a very touching story of the courage and tragedies encountered by a young Scottish soldier during WWII in the Far East. My father also happened to listen to this audible book.
He is a veteran of the Korean War and was very touched by Mr. Urquhart's story of courage, loss and survival. How a young man is altered by the extreme cruelties of war in a different culture is gripping.
This story also chronicles the process of healing encountered by the author when he goes back home after the war to his family in Scotland. It is very touching to listen to how his family welcomed him home as well as how his love of dancing as a child helped his inner wounds to heal. Very highly recommended indeed.
This true story was amazing!! How Alistair Urquhart survived the horrors of the Japanese. It tells the true brutality of the Bridge on the river Kwai, and the Hells Ships. Hats off to the author for telling his story. The narrator was excellent. Must read
I love this genre and have read many accounts of POW survivors but this is really excellent. Well paced with just enough detail to draw you in without getting bogged down in trivia but also shockingly frank. Alistair Urquhart could be anyone's grandfather and has recorded a very moving account of his internment including moments of bravery and cowardice. Wonderful!
"this is good"
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and got a bit of history to boot.
"A Remarkable story"
A gripping book written by an amazing man written when he was 90 after keeping silent for nearly 70 years about the horrendous treatment he and hundreds of others suffered at the hands of the Japanese. The writing conjures up pictures so sharp you would think the events took place recently. Apart from the horrors of life as a prisoner of the Japanese the callous treatment the men received on returning to GB is a revelation and does the reputation of the men in power after WW2 no credit at all. A moving, harrowing and fascinating tale of great courage beautifully read.
This story has remained hidden until now. It needed to be told!This is the real story of the Men who were forced to work on the Burma railway, the story previously told in 'The Bridge over the River Kwai', but as Alistair says, 'we didn't have khaki uniforms, we were naked, and no one had the strength to whistle Colonel Bogie'.
"Amazing and shocking!"
Exceptionally well written and narrated
A very frank and detailed account of his appauling ordeal
All aspects of this book were very interesting and easy to listen to
This book made me very proud of our forgotten hero and very upset at his treatment
I highly recommend this book to anyone. I enjoyed listening to Mr Urquhart's experiences as a POW of the Japanese, but was equally shocked at his treatment at the hands of his captures and also by our own Government upon is return. A real eye opener and very moving
"Humbled and awestruck"
Incomprehensible, astonishing, inspiring
Alistair, for obvious reasons!
Enjoy is the wrong word but what was endured in the punishment pit, must have been suffering so far, way, way beyond, anything I've ever experienced, I simply can't comprehend it. To have made it through that alone is a truly astonishing feat of resiliance.
Yes, enlightening about people: the ingratitude of the privilaged, the sadism of those in power and how kind and amasingly resiliant some people can be.
Great book. If only more of his generation shared their thoughts but I understand why they do not.
"Unforgettable and an insight of The Forgotten Army"
One of the best I have heard
the way that it lead from one area to the next
I did I had tears in my eyes
I was very glad I had ordered it
"A must listen to book"
This is without a doubt a must listen book for almost anyone over the age of about 12. I suspect that many people nowadays will have little or no idea about 'the forgotten war' so the title is very appropriate, because the whole army was forgotten about. A lot is written about the war in Europe and we regularly see and hear things about WW1 and WW2 in Europe, but this will redress the balance AND listeners will discover more about the atrocious conditions suffered by prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese. This book is about more that that however. I have just bought The Railway Man by Eric Lomax as a follow up to The Forgotton Highlander.
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