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Survivor of the Long March: Five Years as a PoW 1940-1945 (Spellmount Military Memoirs) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; UNKNOWN edition (1 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752465198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752465197
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"I am pleased to see that there are books being written about the prisoners and this episode of a time when people suffered and tried to survive in such terrible conditions during WWII." --Dame Vera Lynn DBE, LLD, M Mus, Patron of The National Ex-Prisoner of War Association (NEXPOWA).

About the Author

CHARLES WAITE is now over 90 years old and lives in Kidderminster. He has finally decided to tell his harrowing story after 70 years, with the help of author, journalist and friend - Dee La Vardera, She is the author of seven books and countless articles for publications as diverse as The Guardian, Farmer s Weekly and The Lady. She has painstakingly recorded (and authenticated) Charles s experiences. So moved was ex-hostage Terry Waite on meeting Charles that he immediately offered to write a foreword to this book.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SDUNN on 30 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read this book almost in one go The style is so fluid and realistic. The story comes out of the pages and you feel almost as though you are listening to an intensely honest and private conversation. Charles account of his experiences moved me so deeply that I frequently had tears running down my face. It highlighted the chasm of differences that exist between the young men of that time and our indulged disaffected youths of today. I wish I could find a way of getting this account of determination and quiet bravery to the widest audience possible. This is one of those books that emblazons itself in your memory.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cofion on 29 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
Very few conscripted Private soldiers get their story into print. This is an epic story told in a well crafted fashion, I enjoyed it from cover to cover. I was left in awe of all survivors who, just like Mr Waite, endured unspeakable horrors only to return home and somehow carve out a life for themselves; this being done without sharing anything of their experiences with family or friends.
It begs the recurring question, 'How would I have coped'. I guess not as well as him or the men of his generation.
I believe everyone should read this book but would be pleased if just a few Politicians and other 'leaders' took the time to do so, Mr Waite gave up five years of his young life, his wise words should be heard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Marshall on 7 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I too had personal reasons for reading this book. My father (now a frail 96) is a survivor of 5yrs captivity as a POW in Stalag XXA (Thorun) and XXB (Marienburg). He spoke very rarely of his experiences. The brief facts I learned over the years squared exactly with Mr Waite's experiences:Capture near Wancourt in Northern France, the march to Triers, the long journey East by train truck herded in like cattle, work on farms wearing clogs, cold winters and not enough food. Dad was in a sub camp of Fallingbostel just before the end of the war. Was he part of the long march? He and fellow prisoners were turned out of the last camp under guard and were foraging for food north of Luneberg Heath in late April 1945 when he was liberated by American troops.
My Dad was regular army before the war but always felt, like Mr Waite that he had somehow nothing to be proud of having been a POW for the duration. Perhaps for some the mere fact of survival was enough. It's too late now to revisit his own experiences. I feel I should respect his peace of mind and be thankful that he did survive and enjoy his presence while I can.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sally E on 3 Mar 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable story of Charles Waite, an ordinary man with an extraordinary past as a P.O.W. in World War 11.
The story made compelling reading from start to finish. I was very moved by the courage of this man and his friends who helped him survive this horrific experience.

Dee La Vardera has done an excellent job in weaving the story together, evoking the emotions of the man who suffered hell for 5 years before returning to a normal married life in Britain.

Everyone should read this story if only to remind themselves that whatever hardship they may feel they are suffering, it is insignificant compared to what Charles and men like him endured.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BMW1972 on 29 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in two days, it is a real page turner. The determination and will to survive is incredible. I think it is a must read for children at secondary school for them to appreciate real strength of character and endurance. Mr Waite tells his heart wrenching story as if it was only yesterday and the writing makes you share his experiences.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.Bodman on 20 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
Once I picked up this book I could not put it down. It is one of the best written and most moving accounts of an ordinary man's life, both in peace and war that I have read. The main part of the book deals with five long years spent by Charles Waite as prisoner of war of the Nazis. His story is the story of many thousands of Allied POWs who were forced to work for their enemy because they were not officers. This is not an account of daring escapes from Colditz or of tunnel digging at Stalag 17, this is an account of the dreary and miserable life endured by the majority of POWs and of the terrible days of the long march from East Prussia to the West without food, without medicines and without warm clothing during the one of the coldest winters in the 20th century. This book is a testament to the courage, endurance and sheer grit of those POWs who made it back, often broken in body and mind, to a country that did not understand or care for them, it is an act of remembrance of those who perished in captivity and a warning of the cruelty and barbarity of war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Edwards on 23 Nov 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant book my father (no longer with us) walked in the same footsteps, I was about to undergo surgery when this book arrivied and it kept me going, if these men got through five years of the hardship I sure could get through a few weeks it was an inspiration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mel Curtis on 16 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been researching my late Fathers POW history and discovered he was imprisoned in eastern Poland and was on The Long March. Even now this topic is rarely spoke about and the men who survived this turmoil were effected by this for the rest of their lives. A very truthful and at times moving account of those brave men.
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