Joined: 19 Dec 2006
|Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:44 pm Post subject: Scattered Under the Rising Sun by Stewart Mitchell
|While there have been many fine and inspiring individual POW accounts, Scattered Under the Rising Sun is unusual in that it describes the horrific ordeal at the hands of the Japanese of the officers and men of 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders.
The Battalion was posted to Singapore in 1937 with their families. When the Japanese invaded Malaya in December 1941, the Gordons fought bravely until the surrender of Singapore on 14 February 1942 and those who had not been killed became POWs. After initial incarceration in Singapore the Battalion was dispersed. Many were sent to work on the infamous Thai-Burma railway, others in the mines of Taiwan and Japan and the remainder to other slave labour projects. Many also had to endure long periods in ‘hell-ships’, only to be killed when torpedoed by allied submarines.
All suffered crippling hard labour, starvation, brutality and tropical diseases. Rank was no protection from death. Of the 1,000 men involved initially, only some 600 lived to be liberated in summer 1945.
The author of this moving and superbly researched book captures the strong collective regimental spirit and the humour and cooperation without which so many more would have otherwise succumbed to the unimaginable conditions and brutality. By any yardstick, this is an inspiring tale of sacrifice, courage and survival against appalling odds.
Text taken from Pen and Sword publicty article.
Details / Order it here
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.