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The Junak King: Life as a British POW, 1941-45 Paperback – 3 Mar 2014
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About the Author
Sydney Litherland was called to the military in 1940 where, as an architecture student, he joined the technical services unit of Royal Engineers. In 1941 he went to Greece as part of the expeditionary force sent to bolster Greek resistance. When this collapsed, his unit was evacuated to Crete. The German airborne invasion took the island and Sydney became a POW. These new POWs were sent to camps in Germany by train via a holding station in Salonika. Because Sydney had been taken prisoner before his OCTU training, he was sent with all the other ranks to a series of working camps, first around Berlin, then around Torgau. Sydney died in 2012, shortly after correcting the proofs of this book.
Top customer reviews
He comes across as a modest, trustworthy, God-fearing young man. A man who had wanted to follow his father’s profession as an architect but whose destiny was decided by the drawing of lots for spaces on boats sent to evacuate the troops from a beach in Southern Crete!
At the time he was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Engineers and had fate been kinder he would have attended an Officer Training Course in Egypt. Instead he endured manual labour in various German POW camps for four hard years eventually being elected as a “man of confidence” in a camp.
It is a tale of forbearance, strength of character and constant belief that there would be an Allied Victory and eventual release. It is a demonstration that moral strength overrides physical prowess in the long run. It is a very good read indeed.
Sydney's story is touching and straight from the heart, but unsentimental. The details of daily life in the camp are fascinating and I am sure will be a source of of important historical detail to any researcher. Certainly anyone who had a friend or relative in a camp ought to read this account to find out what their lives were really like. I thoroughly recommend it.
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