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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A priceless journey inside history, 2 Oct 2006
By 
L. Jenner (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Singapore Diary: The Hidden Journal of Captain R M Horner: The Diary of Captain R M Horner (Hardcover)
Captain Horner's personal journal, kept while he was a Japanese prisoner of war during the Second World War, is a remarkable insight into both one man's experience and the wider history of the POWs. The journal covers the period of 1942-1945, and includes Captain Horner's time working for the Japanese in Burma as well as the time he spent in POW camps. What's really interesting is, despite all the suffering, there was some semblance of normal life and humanity within the camps; from clubbing together to send donations to the children in Changi, to running a mess kitchen and putting on musicals. Captain Horner doesn't shy away from recording his feelings about the hardships suffered by the POWs - which include starvation, malaria, tropical ulcers, the loss of friends, the agony of waiting for news from home, and much, much more - but he keeps his 'chin up' through the whole ordeal.

Although never written for publication, the diary is very readable, and features cartoons and other materials from the time. It's an invaluable primary source for anyone wanting to learn more about the experience of the prisoners of war, and an inspiring read for anyone who wants a reminder of how the human spirit can endure almost anything when driven on by the overwhelming desire to stay alive and get home to loved ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable book, 10 Jan 2007
This review is from: Singapore Diary: The Hidden Journal of Captain R M Horner: The Diary of Captain R M Horner (Hardcover)
This fascinating volume is based on the hidden journal of Captain RM Horner-a British Army officer who was captured at the fall of Singapore and who subsequently became a Prisoner of War of the Japanese.

The very fact that the author managed to write and then hide this record of his time in captivity is remarkable, however what makes this volume both special and different to many similar volumes is the inclusion of a large number of excellent sketches and drawings plus colourful plates depicting some of the characters and life in the notorious camps. The reproductions of original documents, the home made menus, Christmas cards and amateur theatre production programmes from the period are outstanding considering the circumstances and lack of resources.

What is evident from this volume, is the way the men rallied round and got on with life despite the extreme hardships and deprivations they were experiencing- at times you would find it hard to believe the events were taking place in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp, however it was these moral boosting events that gave the men some sanity and reason for living.

This is without a doubt, a very valuable addition to any WW2 library. I have read many volumes on life behind the wires of POW camps - this one is certainly different from the rest and therefore very special.
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