Burma Railway: Original War Drawings of POW Jack Chalker Hardcover – 1 Oct 2007
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65 years have passed since a brilliant young art student set sail from Liverpool to fight Japanese aggression in the Far East. Captured on arrival in the chaotic fall of Singapore, Jack Chalker joined the 60,000 allied prisoners driven to the limits of human endurance in the slave labour camps of the infamous Burma Railway. "A sleeper laid for every life lost" ran the legend, and the author's brushes and paints, improvised with genius from the unlikeliest of sources, record not only the misery, squalor, savagery, heroism and fortitude of the prison camps, but also the horrific reality of disease, wounds and the ravages of starvation.Unseen for nearly three generations, the drawings in this book, accompanied by Chalker's own commentary, occupy an enthralling niche in the chronicling of the Second World War. As an historical document, a medical record, and a tribute to the memory of the thousands who lost their lives, "Burma Railway" is a profoundly moving document, exquisite in its detail, unique in its honesty.It features over 100 full colour illustrations and photographs.
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Along with the tiny diary notes they were put aside for 50 years while Jack Chalker got on with his life studying art and becoming an art college Principle and Fellow of the Society of Medical Arts.
I am so grateful that these amazing pictures and the quiet down-to-earth descriptions have now been published as a record of what men can do to other men.
Like Ronald Searle, Jack could do nothing about his situation except draw it.
The original drawings by the author and artist, Jack Chalker, which illustrate the book, were hidden in pieces of bamboo from the guards in the camp and miraculously survived the war.
Jack Chalker has managed to find snippets of great humour throughout the book as he retells the harrowing story of his experiences.