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THE TREES ARE ALL YOUNG ON GARRISON HILL: An exploration of war and memory Hardcover – 19 Dec 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: The Kohima Educational Trust; 1st edition (19 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955268702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955268700
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 17 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 823,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Author

All income from The Trees Are All Young on Garrison Hill goes to the Kohima Educational Trust, a Foundation formed by British veterans of the battle of Kohima, which was a turning point in the war against Japan in 1944. The Trust, seen by its founders as a debt of honour to the Naga people who fought alongside them in this epic battle, is devoted to the support of Naga education by means of providing books, educational materials, scholarships, prizes and exchange visits.
The following are extracts from letters the author has received:
· "I am touched by the beautiful writing. The book is so well conceived and balanced. Together with intensely personal observations, it provides an astonishing amount of information. There is an immediacy about it, from preface to the epilogue."
· "I smiled at much – and on occasion tears welled up."
· "I read it twice and am a frequent dipper into its gems."
· "I was deeply moved by your book. I can understand that the experiences of war will never leave you and probably are the most fundamental of your life. It is hard to imagine the courage and sacrifice that was expected from you and your friends – and looked upon as something quite natural."
· "A masterpiece … should become mandatory reading for Sandhurst cadets and all aspiring military youths."
· "One of the most moving books I have ever read … my sincere congratulations on writing and publishing this most important historical record."
· "… a brilliant book. I knew nothing about the war in Burma. I was gripped by it."
· "Well written and moving. It evoked both memory and emotions, at once deep and yet powerful."
· "I put down other books in progress and found it fascinating, stimulating – and moving – in equal measure. Not to mention the very elegant literary touch."
· "I flicked through your book … the next I knew I had read twenty pages. After supper I read another fifty. Today before lunch with friends I finished it. I became really absorbed in it and admiring. It is a gripping slice of life, a skilful amalgam of personal reminiscence and stories of battle … one of those rare books which is not quite long enough."
· "I congratulate you on your marvellous book. I was full of admiration for the way you were able to achieve such an air of serenity in spite of all the tragedy that befell you personally and that struck your regimental colleagues. I also admired your very modest account of your own exploits … few people would have been so reticent."
· "I read the first forty pages and put it down reluctantly with the inexorable approach of bedtime … the book is riveting … a very personal voice – revealing, droll, with a finely balanced subjectivity."
· "… an enthralling, even compulsive, read, with many fresh insights into the war and its aftermath."
· "Thanks for your wonderful book … a particular pleasure because of its style and readability."
· "An excellent and accomplished piece of authorship. Your style of writing adds greatly to the whole tone of the book. You should be very proud you have produced such a work."
· Anything autobiographical presents a challenge and particularly when it concerns war memoirs. Typically you have sinned severely in the direction of personal understatement."
· "I really enjoyed your book, its honesty and lack of pretension."
· "The thing that most impressed me was the structure of the narrative, not only the sequencing, but the deft blending of family history, personal memoir and evocation of the universal, for want of a better term. The tone was just right, and the gradual revelation of the protagonist was in perfect proportion, supporting the narrative but never overwhelming it.

About the Author

Born and educated in Glasgow, Gordon Graham enlisted in the army on the outbreak of World War II. He was commissioned into the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, and spent most of the war years with its 1st Battalion. He was awarded the MC and Bar in the 1944 and 1945 Burma Campaigns, and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before being demobilised in 1946.

A few months later, he returned to India and spent the following ten years covering that country and its neighbours as a newspaper correspondent and publisher's representative. This was followed by eight years in New York as International sales manager of the McGraw-Hill Book Company. For the last fifteen years of his professional career, he was chairman of Butterworths, the British legal and scientific publisher. Since his retirement in 1990, he has edited LOGOS, a quarterly journal for the international book world.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A reader on 26 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
Gordon Graham's memoir of youth to the experience of war is a must read, focusing on his time in a largely unknown battle in a war that affected the history of India and the Japanese invasion of Asia. Almost everyone who lived after it in the twentieth century knows second-hand something of the second world war. How many know what really happened in key events? What was war really like, what happened? It is particularly rare that we ever get to read of the corners of war. On page 75 I found this: "...the headman took me to a basha where I met my first Japanese. He lay helpless, clad only in a loincloth. There were pools of urine in the hollows of his groin. I looked at his face and he in mine. His gaze was mild, passive. This was not what war was supposed to be about. `Get a stretcher,' I said. Soon four Jocks were striding across the paddy fields carrying their emaciated enemy. Expecting to be ruthless, they suddenly rediscovered that it takes two to make a quarrel. We took twenty eight prisoners on that strange day. Many were sick and starving, and some were young and frightened. Why, I wondered, had they been abandoned? No food, no medicine. Some of them were remnants of the force which had besieged Kohima."

Earl Louis Mountbatten described the battle for Kohima as "probably one of the greatest battles in history... in effect the Battle of Burma... naked unparalleled heroism... the British/Indian Thermopylae".

In the end, most of what the author writes about are those details of grief, horror, surprise and even relief that war and life bring. A poignant tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PAULINE STAVES on 22 Sep 2007
Format: Hardcover
I especially ordered this book at my mothers request(She is 90 years old). Her fiance was killed in Burma during the 2nd world war. She still speaks fondly of her lost love who did not survive the war. Since wartime she has always wanted to know many things about the nature of his death and where his final resting place was and this book has clarifed many of these points for her. There is even a picture of her fiance's gravestone in the book(ROBERT MOORE-HEMSLEY) which was highly emotional for her to see at such an advanced age. It was an emotional experience for me too, as had he survived, my mother would never have met my father and I would not have been born. Neither of us expected to see his actual gravestone in the book out of all the soldiers who were killed in Kohima but we are pleased that it has been included in honour of his memory. My mother has treasured all the airgraphs her fiance sent to her from Burma since 1944 and now in her twillight years she has read this book with great interest. She has memories of her own personal tragedy but this book has helped her see the conflict in which her finance was involved from a much wider perspective.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Lyman on 10 Dec 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was very moved by this story. It deserves to be very widely read. Why? First, it is beautifully written. Second, it is published by a charity set up to honour the people of Nagaland who supported the British so loyally during the protracted and bloody battle of Kohima in 1944. Third, it oozes intense and honest compassion in its description of how an intelligent (though ordinary) young man approaches war, and deals with the adrenaline highs and brutal lows of battlefield experience. Fourth, the book is written in the context of later life, where the memory of past great events are seen and interpreted through the lens of a self-evident maturity and compassion. The contribution by his daughter and son-in-law (Rob and Sylvia May) who retraced his steps over the battlefield many years later is particularly powerful, and enable us not to consider Graham's story as merely a memory, but in fact a moving experience of our own as we enter vicariously into his story.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow! Having only just bought my copy of this book I could hardly put it down. In fact, as I write I am starting to re-read it again. A remarkable story of a young officer's 6 years of service, of which the last 18 months was to see him through some of the toughest and most horrendous fighting of the Burma Campaign.

Gordon Graham's style of writing is easy, modest and straight from the heart. However, this does not mean that the events are made any the less real; or less frightening. From the relative calm of first arriving in India through to the bloody battle of Kohima and subsequent drive into Burma before hostilities ceased, the reader 'lives' through his experiences as an officer in Cameron's. On top of this Gordon had to deal with some personal tragedies, which would have tested the mettle of any human being, let alone one in a war situation.

There are also diarised narratives from his Daughter and Son-in-Law who went on a personal pilgrimage to follow in Gordon's footsteps - not an easy task given modern political restrictions in Eastern India and Burma.

Without being patronising, I take my hat off to Gordon Graham and those like him who lived through such experiences; yet retain their humanity, dignity and can even offer reconciliation towards their former enemies. I recommend this excellent book highly. You will not be disappointed.
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By M. Gillett on 27 Nov 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great service at a fair price. Many thanks!
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