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Jocks in the Jungle: The Black Watch and Cameronians as Chindits Hardcover – 16 Aug 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (16 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848847920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848847927
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gordon Thorburn


...is the legitimate child of Hrothgar Tørbjorn, Swedish air ace, whose Volvo night fighter was mistakenly shot down over Dewsbury. Hrothgar sold his parachute and married Ivy Milburn, a Geordie ice-cream girl and exotic-dance understudy, in a private ceremony at Leeds City Varieties.

As a boy, Gordon was keen to be a bought ledger clerk with the Assembly of the Free Churches of Scotland but his father wanted him to be a poet or sculptor. As a compromise, Gordon enrolled at the Kirkstall Lane Temperance College to learn black-pudding knotting. He supplemented this with a course in participle dangling then ran away to London to be indentured to the advertising legend S H Benson, gent., as an infinitive splitter (hot metal).

After two years' trying to think of a different way of saying 'Guinness is good for you', Gordon joined McCann Erickson where he became known as 'The Nine out of Ten Copywriter'. Phrases he coined there included 'The Esso sign appertains to happy motoring', 'A Double Diamond works quite well considering', 'Oh, Bisto', 'Hardly anything acts faster than Anadin' and 'I'd like to buy the world a Jennings of Cockermouth'.

Gordon lived in Suffolk for 15 years, where shed enlightenment began to dawn but was cut short by a large number of Essex people moving in and erecting fibreglass Victorian street lamps in their gardens. After ten years in Appleby-in-Westmorland smallholding and good-lifing, with many stone sheds, a bull pen and a barn, he's now back in Suffolk with his wife Sue. He is working on several new books, including one about sheds.

See also www.gordonthorburn.co.uk
www.contactanauthor.co.uk/authorpage.php?id=241

Published 2010
The Classic Allotment. March, Remember When/Pen & Sword
The Classic Herb Garden. June, Remember When/Pen & Sword
Travelling Art - Gypsy Caravans and Canal Boats. June, The History Press
Cassius - paperback edition, July, John Blake
Pubs and their history - October, Remember When

2011
Unauthorised celebrity biography (under pseudonym). February, John Blake
Me and My MG - May.
The Pocket Guide to Sheds - June.
Remembering the High Street - September.

Kindle books
666 Squadron - The owl that shriek'd (WW2 fiction)
Pigs for Dinner (psycho-thriller)
Nicky Tams, King of Nosepipe (children's fiction)

Currently working on:
Jocks in the Jungle (Black Watch as Chindits 1944 - Pen and Sword)
Superpiss, Kiss Me, Bedcocks and Fart (international brand names)
The Fighter Pilot's Handbook

Earlier books published
No Need To Die, Americans in RAF Bomber Command. July 2009, Haynes
Cassius, true story of an exceptional police dog. March 2009, John Blake
Animal Spy - undercover investigations into animal cruelty. Sept 2007, Vision
Bombers, first and last - WW2 with No IX Squadron, RAF. June 2006, Robson
Men and Sheds - October 2002, New Holland (140,000 copies sold)
Ghosted autobiography of undercover agent. Simon & Schuster, August 2001
43 Unsporting Moments, Village Cricket, The Appleby Rai, The Buxton Baths Murders - own imprint.

Awards London BISFA 'Best Scriptwriter', Los Angeles ITVA 'Golden Reel' (both for video documentary about lack of treatment for kidney patients); Lakeland Books of the Year, Jennings Prize (The Appleby Rai).

Newspaper and magazine articles and stories - many, including Art Review, Crafts, The Independent, Yorkshire Post, Garden News, Garden Answers, Yorkshire Journal, Police Review, At Home (medical journal), Golf Monthly, Whitbread Magazine, Yours, Plain English, FlyPast, Armourer, Britain at War. American magazines Logbook and MAKE. Weekly humorous column This world of ours in the Yorkshire Post.

Career summary Benn Brothers (trade and technical journalism); S H Benson, then McCann Erickson (advertising copywriting); Thorburn Kirkpatrick (copywriting, editing, design, PR and print production); freelancing in copywriting, journalism, non-fictional and fictional books; editing and publishing under own imprint; more freelancing and more books.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Most British Regiments have their own collective noun for their rank and file. In the Parachute Regiment, for example, they are called Toms. In most, if not all?, Scottish Regiments they are known as Jocks. Like the Paras, the Jocks are known for `getting stuck in' and it is that penchant for fighting on the front foot which has always provided the British Army with a fighting force to be reckoned with. Certainly, much may have been written about the IRA wanting the Paras removed from Northern Ireland, but they also feared the Jocks!

In this historically important work, we learn of the role played by two very famous Scottish Regiments (The Black Watch and the Cameronians) who were part of an even more famous WW2 military formation known as the Chindits. This in NOT, however, another account of the wartime exploits of Orde Wingate and his men. Instead accomplished author Gordon Thorburn explores the central question of whether or not the role played by the Chindits was the greatest medical disaster of WW2 - and whose fault it was!

In 1943, the reality was that 7,677 officers and men were subjected to the most arduous of all training (jungle warfare!) before entering the jungle with skills as good as any Japanese soldier - who were regarded as masters of that particular type of warfare. But was that training enough for what was to follow? By the end of the campaign, only 1,754 men were able to operate effectively with all others being declared fit only for a hospital bed.

Dysentery is such a debilitating condition, it will reduce even the finest fighters and the strongest men to ineffectiveness by removing all their strength and, in many cases, even their will to live. Being sick, therefore, was no reflection on the men.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Peattie on 7 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good well written book with lots of facts. This describes with conditions that these soldiers had to overcome with sheer guts.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By chin1947 on 16 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb research. My father was an R.A.F signaller (corporal) in Black Watch column 42.He always carried a photo of B company. He was hospitalised 8 times during his two years in the jungle. " I dont think you should know about it"- were the only words he spoke about it. I know he carried somebody out for which he was given a ruby. He also witnessed his best friend cut in half by a sword in front of him. This book is very welcome for showing the extreme hardships the Chindits went through and the apalling way they were used after Wingates death.The medical emphasis is critical in its importance. It is very sober reading. My eternal thanks to the author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My father was in the Cameronians and fought in the jungle thus the reason I purchased
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
The Forgotten War 10 Mar. 2015
By Lazlo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting history on a little know side of WW2. While the story of the Chindit's is probably one of the most well know episodes of the Burma theater, the details of the men in the ranks (in this case the Scots) is rarely told. Thorburn does a great job of detailing the day to day toll taken by the environment and disease as well as the Japanese. Lots of first hand accounts. I would recommend this to anyone interested in WW2, Burma and the Scottish at arms. An easy read on a fascinating subject.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Truth 8 Mar. 2014
By Sonny - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My Dad (Cameronian Chindit) never talked about the the war. understand now some of what he went through. knew his leader was bernard ferguson and that he saw Wingate boarding a plane . many thanks for the insight.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 5 July 2014
By craig speirs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
cool book on scottish troops
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