The Forgotten Highlander Free read ✓ 5

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The Forgotten Highlander Free read ✓ 5 ↠ Alistair Uruhart 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 subseuently taken on one of the Japanese ‘hellships’ which was torpedoed Nearly everyone else on board died and UruhaEd Nearly everyone else on board died and Uruhart 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. This is the first time I read a first hand account of a POW involved in the Malayan Campaign I am greatly affected by it despite being brought up on a diet of Japanese atrocities in Asia in World War 2 Much is said about the killing maiming raping and torture but a reader is usually left to imagine the magnitude of these atrocities through the statistics; this book describes in graphic details the actual behaviours of the Japanese and their eually brutal Korean subjects and the horrible conditions the POWs were subjected toThe author escaped the fighting in Malaya and Singapore as he was assigned to administrative work in the Battle Box in Fort Canning but was taken prisoner after the surrender and hence went on to suffer than three years in various ordeals including building the notorious Death Railway in Thailand and Burma being torpedoed in 'hellships' and then almost being close enough when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki He survived to tell the story and the story was all the stirring precisely because it was not told with heroics in mind He told an honest story of how he survived and how he tried to go on he also told a story of how he eventually became almost immune to the death and suffering that was happening around him But while this book can be read as a superficial description of one man's experience there are hints of bigger issues that worth exploring One of these is the author's attitudes towards the JapaneseIt is no surprise that the author loathed his enemies especially the camp guards who tortured them no end yet there was one interesting episode that he mentioned briefly near the end of the book that could have given the readers much to think about he and Dr Mathieson attended to a sick Japanese girl towards whom he felt no animosity How does a POW having gone through such systematic inhumane treatment feel towards another of 'the other' This complex attitude of the POWs even if just that of the author would have added much to the richness of the bookAnother one is the Koreans who were conscripted to serve in South East Asia The Koreans today generally still harbour great dislike of the Japanese owing to the bad legacy Japan left as their colonial master Yet in the treatment of the POWs and the populace of South East Asia Koreans are known to be no less harsh than the Japanese In fact the author even alluded to the Japanese being measured when it came to beating the POWs pg 219 The Koreans today paint themselves as the victims of the Japanese imperialism and in the current K pop wave most Asians other than the Japanese are eager to agree But were they This is one subject that is worth exploring together with the attitudes of the Taiwanese who were also conscripted and served in South East AsiaThe final one is the parallel that I could not help drawing between the author's experience in signing the agreement with the Japanese in the Selarang Incident and with the British government when he returned to Britain He described himself signing a name that would not identify him only in this case if he were to be like his comrades who signed 'Mickey Mouse' in Selarang he would surely blow his own cover That bitterness in how he was treated upon his return would stay with him This is not the first time I came across this theme it was how General Percival was treated upon his releaseThis book resonates a lot with me mainly because it describes the experience of a soldier who was in Singapore in the days before I was born His description of the sights and sounds of Singapore then gives me much to imagine The bumpy road he rode along from 'Singapore' known as 'town' today to Changi has long since been replaced by an expressway our term for 'highway' but it was still there when I was young so is Selarang camp which I drive past on occasions just to see the white buildings since its so near home Now I know it was once home to the Gordon Highlanders as well

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Alistair Uruhart 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 subseuently taken on one of the Japanese ‘hellships’ which was torpedo. Do you think it's possible to survive having malaria dysentery beri beri and tropical infected skin ulcers all at the same time while being worked to death during WW2 in a Japanese prison camp building a railroad in BurmaThe Forgotten Highlander Alistair Uruhart managed to do just that surviving to return home to tell of his hellish experiences in this bookIn a strange way this book was almost uplifting instead of depressing Alistair nearly died so many times it's a miracle he survived Young Alistair was enjoying his army enlistment in Singapore until the Japanese army broke through and conuered the impregnable colony In short order the young and wholesome Alistair became enslaved and forced to work building a railroad while being fed less than a cup of rice per day He was one of the few survivors having spent 750 days of hard labor Alistair was slowly starving to death when the POWs were shipped to the mainland of Japan as their services were reuired during this stage of the war More bad luck followed as the enslaved were packed into the ship to the extent that it wasn't possible to sit On the journey to Japan the slave ship was hit by an American torpedo and sunk Alistair somehow managed to survive 5 days in the ocean until the Japanese relief effort finally found him The survivors were packed into another ship to continue their journey to Japan but this time it was almost unbearable to read what happened next They were locked in the hold for 3 days without any food or water and many POW's went insane and starting killing and eating each other in order to drink blood Alistair did survive and returned home to the highlands of Scotland but he would never be the same again physically or mentally After all his suffering he decided to dedicate his life to helping others which he has done while living to a ripe old age It's a miracle that any of these poor POWs were able to survive Alistair's will to live was what kept him going and I've never heard or read about a man this brave Alistair story is inspirational although sometimes difficult to readThis book might not be for all people due to the barbarism displayed throughout

Alistair Urquhart ì 5 Free read

The Forgotten HighlanderJust ten miles away This is the extraordinary story of a young man conscripted at nineteen and whose father was a Somme Veteran who survived not just one but three very close separate encounters with death encounters which killed nearly all his comrad. If you enjoyed this book then you will eually like Laura Hillenbrand's UnbrokenMr Uruhart is a hero to all who have ever served their country in time of war A brave person who confronted an evil capture and managed to survive the ordeal He also gains a practical insight as to why Great Britain and to the larger extent the USA sort of wanted to push these attrocities aside and act almost as if they didn't occur A book worth every single page in my view