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We Shall Suffer There: Hong Kong's Defenders Imprisoned, 1942-45

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-9622099609
ISBN-10: 9622099602
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Editorial Reviews


"Tony Banham's sequel to Not the Slightest Chance does not disappoint. The general reader is given an arrestingly poignant study full of detailed information about Hong Kong's wartime POWs, while scholars are shown how the modern researcher can profitably use information technology when managing information concerning the lives of several thousand individuals. This is a definitive work which will stand the test of time." – Peter Cunich, The University of Hong Kong; director of the HKU Centenary History Project

About the Author

Tony Banham is a long-term resident of Hong Kong, having arrived in the 1980s. He has been studying the Battle of Hong Kong for almost twenty years and has written on the subject, aided in the production of numerous television documentaries, and helped many children of veterans in their researches into their fathers' war years. He is the author of Not the Slightest Chance: The Defence of Hong Kong, 1941, and The Sinking of the Lisbon Maru: Britain's Forgotten Wartime Tragedy.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Hong Kong University Press (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9622099602
  • ISBN-13: 978-9622099609
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,873,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Banham was born into an academic family in Norfolk. He is nephew of architectural historian Professor Reyner Banham and great nephew of 1945 Member of Parliament Edwin Gooch. He graduated in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire and had an initial career in research & development with Royal Dutch Shell and the European Space Agency at ESRIN. At the age of 30 he moved to Hong Kong, working there for a variety of software vendors including Informix and, today is a senior executive based in Hong Kong with Oracle. He is a licensed pilot and is married with two sons and has made Hong Kong his permanent home.

Tony Banham is founder of the Hong Kong War Diary project, which studies and documents the 1941 defence of Hong Kong, the defenders, their families, and the fates of all until liberation. His published books are considered to be examples of some of the best research on the Hong Kong experience during the Second World War. Mr. Banham is also very active in the "human side" of historical research relating to the era and often speaks at various symposia on the subject and carries on an active dialogue with survivors of the conflict and their families. He also maintains a close association with various diplomatic services, government agencies, and other official parties associated with providing care and services to those involved in the conflict. He serves, at the request on the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, on a special government panel which reviews and grants the payment of pensions to veterans (or their survivors) who served Hong Kong during the period.

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Format: Hardcover
If I may be permitted to paraphrase that old cliché about buses; I had never previously seen any books by Tony Banham and then three came along at once. This is my final review of that trio and mention of those other works is included for very good reasons: Firstly the subject matter is the fall of Honk Kong during WW2 with each book complimenting the others enormously. Secondly, each is a triumph of meticulous research. So much so in fact that I earnestly believe these books will come to be regarded as the definitive works on the subject.

In this work, the author continues his study of the former British Colony during WW2 by embarking on, what some might consider, as an unusual aspect by following the trials and tribulations of those who were captured and imprisoned by the Japanese. Whilst I have no way of knowing whether `every' relevant person involved is named in this work, few, if any, can have been overlooked.

In his first two books (Not the Slightest Chance - The Defence of Hong Kong 1941 and The Sinking of the Lisbon Maru - Britain's Forgotten Wartime Tragedy), Banham recounts the heroic defence of Hong Kong and the sinking of the Japanese freighter on which so many POWs needlessly died when that ship was sunk. In this work we follow the fortunes of those who were captured alive and enter their world of almost total deprivation at the hands of their captors as they endured so much hardship whilst being deliberately starved to the point of death. This is more than just another harrowing tale of man against man at time of war and one which needs to be read in order to be understood.

In spite of my own military background during I experienced many atrocities, what I found most surprising was the almost routine nature of the dying.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are interested in World War II history, this book (as well as the two companion books) are for you. They tell the story of the often overlooked Battle of Hong Kong, which was part of the British Commonwealth at that time. The Japanese began their attack on December 8, 1941 (some say the attack began on December 7, 1941 due to the international date line) The Japanese faced a combined force from the British Commonwealth, mainly consisting of two regiments from Canada, the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers. These defenders, out-manned and ill-supplied, fought the Japanese valiantly but it was a forgone conclusion that Hong Kong would fall to the Japanese. The author, Tony Banham, has done a truly awesome job in presenting the story of the Hong Kong defenders (of interest specifically to me were the Royal Rifles of Canada) and their struggles in the Japanese POW camps. I commend him on gathering the details of the men and women who perished in the camps. I personally want to thank Tony Banham for providing me with the information on my grandfather, a member of the Royal Rifles of Canada, who died while a prisoner of war in Japan. The story of the Defense of Hong Kong, as presented by Tony Banham, is available in three books. The first book, "Not the Slightest Chance: The Defense of Hong Kong, 1941", is about the battle for Hong Kong. The second book, "We Shall Suffer There: Hong Kong's Defenders Imprisoned, 1942-45", is about the subsequent imprisonment of the defenders of Hong Kong after they surrendered to the Japanese. The third book, "The Sinking of the Lisbon Maru: Britain's Forgotten Wartime Tragedy", is about a Japanese prison ship heading to Japan, loaded with prisoners of war from the battle of Hong Kong, which is torpedoed and sinks. Good job by the author
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Much of my childhood in England was proscribed by my Father's experiences in China prior to and after the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong. Tony Banham's meticulously researched book has opened a small window into this world for me and memorialized the sacrifices made by thousands in defense of the island they loved.
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