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A Doctor's War Paperback – 1 Feb 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The Collins Press (1 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903464706
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903464700
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Engrossing, uplifting, especially riveting read --The Irish Times

This book is an epic --Sir Dennis Spotswood, Marshal of the RAF

His description is terrifying but fascinating --Air Marshal Sir William Cole

About the Author

Aidan McCarthy qualified as a doctor at Cork University in 1938. He joined the RAF in 1939, and in 1941 was awarded the George medal for rescuing a pilot from a blazing plane. After the war he was awarded the OBE for his prisoner-of-war work. He continued to serve in the medical branch of the RAF and in 1969 was appointed to command the RAF central medical establishment in London. He retired in 1972. Married in 1948 he had two daughters, one of whom now runs McCarthy's Bar in Castletownbere. He died in 1995.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tony Allwright on 10 July 2007
Format: Paperback
A stirring, compelling wartime memoir of an RAF volunteer doctor from Cork (in Ireland), who sees action in France, Dunkirk, Malaysia and Japan.

As a prisoner of war for several years, he bravely and doggedly faces a Japanese diet of scorn, deprivation and brutality, whilst seeking opportunities to practice his profession for the benefit of his fellow-captives.

He is torpedoed, his ship sunk, is rescued by the Japanese, leaps overboard again to escape a beating, is rescued again and is very nearly thrown back into the sea for a third time.

He ends up in Nagasaki where he survives the atomic bomb and lives to welcome and be rescued by the Americans in 1945.

Along the road, he witnesses incredible acts of courage and patriotic self-sacrifice, as well as understandable savagery, on the part of his fellow prisoners.

Yet his reflections contain little of rancour for his Japanese captors who treated him and his colleagues so abominably.

A lasting impression is the meticulous planning that went into post-invasion Japan - in stark contrast to post-invasion Iraq.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Davis on 18 April 2006
Format: Paperback
I was glad to see this book reissued as it was getting very tricky indeed to track down an older copy. I'm very fond of this new edition though - the new cover artwork brings a breath of fresh air to this astounding book.

A gripping read from start to finish - one simply cannot comprehend what Aidan MacCarthy went through. The account ranges from lighthearted to, at times horrific and even disturbing! For anyone who has read this - 'maggots' spring to mind! Ghastly!

Overall this is a must-have and I'm chuffed it's now so easily available again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Allingbone on 5 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book because I have fond memories of working with Doctor Aidan MacCarthy in the late 70s in London - he was in his 80s then, an Air Comodore Retired. He was a lovely man who was cheeky, funny and full of stories, which he dictated to the young, WRAF typist in preparation for publishing. It is a most moving account of how he survived the horrors of WW2 with some humour along the way and heroic deeds, which he never boasted about. My memories of him will stay with me always and I thank him and all those other people who suffered and died to allow me to live the life I have today. What a shame we never learn from war. It still goes on and still people suffer. I recommend this book wholeheartily and hope you enjoy it as much as I did - and still do.
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Format: Paperback
This is the story of the trials and tribulations of an RAF Medical Officer during World War 2. It is a moving account of his experiences told in a witty and down-to- earth way. The book is practically addictive, as once begun it is difficult to put it down without finishing it completely.
In April 1964 I had the privilege as a young Medical Officer to be advised by, and train under Group captain Mac Carthy (as he was then) at RAF Freckleton, Lancashire. He was thoughtful and very kind to me, and was a shining example of what a Royal Air Force Medical Officer should be. It was only in January 2010 that I discovered that he had written this book, a copy of which I immediately obtained. It is a treasured possession.
The author tells a tale of hardship,imprisonment,hardship,torture,fortitude and valour. Doctor Aidan Mac Carthy came out of all this without any rancour or animosity towards the Japanese people. How anyone could come through all that he experienced and still remain normal, is a complete mystery, bur I can vouch for the fact that he was very normal. This is a very readable and enjoyable book.
Dr. Brendan Hogan,
Melbourne, Australia
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By Sparks on 12 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A stunningly graphic account of a living hell. I was a child after the war, so knew of those whom my mother referred to as "guests of the emperor". Yet this has opened my mind further. Even having worked with a veteran who had been one of the few to survive the horrors of the Burma railway, I have learned even more of the depravities to which their captors had sunk.

Not that I needed reassurance, but this further strengthens my view that in giving his life, 6 months before I was born, my own father (who had volunteered to fly in Bomber Command at the age of 33) had paid a worthwhile price helping rid his generation of some great evils.

Especially in this year of significant anniversary of Remembrance Day it is important to be reminded of man's inhumanity to man & of the imperative to stop these recurring atrocities. Also it is important to remember that inner strength can prevail. What an amazing, though modest gentleman. The world is the poorer without him. I'm sad that I did not know of him while there was still time to praise him directly. This book should join a list of required reading for each succeeding generation. You will not enjoy reading this work, but you will be the richer for it.
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