- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616084073
- ISBN-13: 978-1616084073
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 231 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Forgotten Highlander: An Incredible WWII Story of Survival in the Pacific 1st Edition
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“Urquhart grabs our attention with unforgettable stories.” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
About the Author
Alistair Urquhart was born in 1919 and is the last surviving member of the Scottish regiment the Gordon Highlanders who were captured in Singapore. He teaches computer skills in Scotland. He is currently battling skin cancer—a probable result of his years of forced labor in the tropical sun. He lives in Dundee, Scotland.
Top customer reviews
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After being moved to Japan to continue working as slave labor, the author experiences a near miss as Nagasaki is bombed with an atomic weapon. His further adventures on the road back to England are further enlightening. This man deserves your attention to his book.
Urquhart was conscripted to work on the famous Bridge on the River Kwai, all the while surviving on a cup of rice and water per day. Beatings became the norm, and soon, Urquhart was suffering from several different tropical diseases. He worked on the bridge for 750 days.
After his work on the bridge, Urquhart was put on one of the Japanese "Hell Ships" to be sent to a labor camp in Japan. En route, the ship was sunk by an American submarine, throwing Urquhart and his comrades into the water. Some of the prisoners were rescued by friendly submarines, but Urquhart was not as lucky; he was picked up by a Japanese ship and resumed his voyage to Japan. Once there, he began working outdoors in a mine near the town of Nagasaki. By August, 1945, the Japanese were beaten. The first atomic bomb had fallen on Hiroshima and one day while Urquhart was working outside, he was knocked over by an extremely hot blast of air. Looking north toward Nagasaki, Urquhart saw a towering cloud over the city. He did not know it at the time, but he had felt the effects of the second atomic bomb that destroyed the city. Urquhart had somehow managed to survive the war, weighing only 82 pounds at the end. He managed to work his way back to Scotland and began to get back to life.
This is a very interesting story told through the eyes of a former POW. I've read many books about the fate of Allied POWs at the hands of the Japanese, but I'm still sickened each time I read about these terrible atrocities the Japanese committed yet still refuse to admit. Many Japanese companies, including the one Urquhart slaved for, benefited from POW labor, yet they still refuse to admit it. Urquhart had to endure virtually daily beatings, solitary confinement, little or no medical care, and virtually no food and water, yet he survived. it is a testament to all POWs who managed to survive such unimaginable treatment.
I recommend this book to all readers of Pacific War history. Urquhart's story is one of resilience, determination, and stubbornness, and this book accurately portrays the atrocities that Allied POWs were forced to face.
Urquhart's story thoroughly engrossing. The book was hard to put down and and I found myself wanting to read it from cover to cover. Having grown up seeing the sugar coated version "The Bridge on the River Kwai", it was refreshing, although very sad to see how POW's suffered at the hands of the Japanese during WWII. It was equally sad to learn of the frustration and lack of care he received from the British government as a former POW. If you are interested in the inner workings of the Pacific Theater during WWII, this book lends one view of an often forgotten part!