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Richard Laird’s previously unpublished record of his wartime experience as a Japanese prisoner of war ranks among the most graphic of this shocking and deservedly popular genre.
Captured after fighting in the Malayan Campaign he was incarcerated in Changi before being drafted as slave labour with ‘F’ Force on the notorious Burma Railway. He was one of only 400 out of 1600 to survive Songkurai No 2 Camp, despite disease and terrible hardship.
His moving memoir begins with a rare description of ex-patriate life in 1930’s Shanghai with the Sino-Japanese war raging around the European cantonments.
An additional dimension to his story is the developing relationship between the author and Bobbie Coupar Patrick to whom he became engaged shortly before the fall of Singapore. Bobbie’s letters graphically described her dramatic escape to Australia and work for Force 136. They were reunited in Colombo, Ceylon and their son has been instrumental in compiling this exceptional record.
Three appendices round off this superb book including the official report on the hardships and losses suffered by ‘F’ Force.
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