Top positive review
Remembering the Victims of an Awful Conflict
on 23 April 2012
This is a remarkable account of the horrors that unfolded when the Japanese invaded Burma and swept all before them early in 1942. How can one be so ignorant of such a ghastly tragedy, that hundreds of thousands of civilians, servants of the colonial economy, both British, Burmese and Indian were instantly made refugees fleeing northwards from Rangoon to escape the brutality of the Japanese soldiers. Forced to walk into the jungle and to attempt to cross the mountains that barred their access to relative safety in India, they died like flies along the way. Disease, starvation and exhaustion took a terrible toll. Drawing on archival material and personal diaries, the author tells the story with compassion and insight in an account that is vivid and moving. It was one of those rare books that gripped me throughout and which I now must read again. I am so glad to have found it as it is a piece of history that needs telling, especially as Burma comes back into the world limelight as it awakes from decades of isolation. Little wonder perhaps that on independance they wanted to have nothing to do with the great powers who had trampled them for so long.