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on 5 September 2009
John Wyatt has written a book which gives an eye-witness account of some of the most awful moments in the history of the British Army - the retreat through Malaya and then the loss of Singapore to the Japs. But then he tells us of the grim life building the Burma-Siam railway and then his transportation, in terrible cicumstances, to slave labour in Japan itself. He certainly experienced it all! Just look at the picture of a proud old man on the flyleaf - a modest, blameless life spent as a postman in Sydenham after the war - and you see everything that makes you proud to be an Englishman.
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on 9 January 2011
Very interesting reading. was a bit on the political side at first but when he talked about being in the camps it was gripping. Could not put this down and my heart really went out to him and his comrads. We all know about the horrors that happened in these camps but this tells the FULL story and how the men, of all backgrounds/race stuck together. Great reading.
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on 15 August 2013
I am 81yrs now,but as a child during the war, I had to concentrate on the horrors of being evacuated etc etc.
I have now read John Wyatt's book, which makes me realise what horrors our soldiers,airman, and the navy lads were going through at that same time.
My Father served in the first World War, but although shot, he survived, enjoying a good life after that until he died at 96yrs.
How I regret not persuading him to talk to me about that awful war, but in those days they refused to talk about their awful experiences. The shock of living through a SECOND W.W. having their children taken from them for safety reasons, must have been almost too much.
Thank you John, amongst others, for giving the younger generation a chance to read how lucky they are now in Great Britain. Brandy Thomas Oxshott Surrey.
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on 4 July 2013
This account of the dreadful experiences of a FEPOW is helped by references to other works & is not wholly reliant on an elderly man's memory. This makes it stand out from many memoirs. Understandably, FEPOWs de-personalise what they went through and put a stoic twist on their sufferings. The author here was present at the Alexandra Hospital atrocity and helpfully uses other works to get the event across to the reader.

The events of the 500 mile chaotic retreat through Malaya are laid out for us only briefly, but this book is not about the horror of war, it is about the inhuman treatment that the shameful Japanese Imperial Army dished out to POWs. It is interesting how FEPOWs show mercy to the Japanese in their memoirs after receiving none from them. Maybe that's how these great, ordinary men survived post-war.

The author concludes his narrative by saying how lucky he was to survive his captivity in a very personal voice.

Nobody can say that they "enjoyed" reading a book like this, but it is a good read.
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on 14 August 2013
John .

Your record of the queen Alexander hospital stands out . Enjoyed your book very much - a brave and loving man .
Adds to my father and his treatment as a fellow POW in Singapore and on the railway
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on 20 March 2011
If you are in any way interested in FEPOWs then this is a must read book. Very few men survived the Malaya campaign, the Alexandra Hospital massacre, the Burma/ Thai railway, the Hellships and POW camps in Japan.
John Wyatt not only survived all of these but this book tells his story with emotion, humour and a great regard for human life. I was in tears when he eventually came home to find the sweetheart he had pined for during the hard years in captivity had married another man assuming he had died in the Far East..
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on 26 July 2013
It's a very sad but very true book. Interested because my grandfather served in both world wars and served with the Chindits in Burma.
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on 6 February 2014
Clear and concise and showed his determination to survive under dreadful conditions. The younger generation should read this. Not at all emotive, just what happened.
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on 28 July 2013
This is a well written account of what John Wyatt had to endure as a japanese prisoner of war.In his later years he meets up with one of his tormenters and finds he is able to forgive if not forget.A good read, Recommended.
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on 23 January 2014
The first part up to being captured by Japanese and experiences on the transport ships was very good. Rest seemed to give little details on treatment in POW camps was not so well covered.
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