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Memoirs of a Saturday Night Soldier

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This book was written by my father whilst recovering from tuberculosis, acquired in the jungles of Burma during World War Two. At the tender age of 16 he was awe-struck by the sight of soldiers in their uniforms and the general kudos of fighting for one's king and country. Frank becomes an NCO and is sent to the Orkney's when War breaks out He seems to have to make the bes This book was written by my father whilst recovering from tuberculosis, acquired in the jungles of Burma during World War Two. At the tender age of 16 he was awe-struck by the sight of soldiers in their uniforms and the general kudos of fighting for one's king and country. Frank becomes an NCO and is sent to the Orkney's when War breaks out He seems to have to make the best of it, his sense of humour and lack of regard for authority, along with the luck of not being caught out, make for interesting reading. He witnesses the Battle of Britain and the Coventry blitz first hand. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour and the war takes a different turn, he is sent to India on a troopship, with a stop over in Durban, South Africa. He acquires some colourful friends but finally his luck runs out and he is demoted. He confesses that at this point his love for the Army and its traditions suffers. Gandhi uses the war to attempt to rid India of British Rule, suggesting to the general population that they should welcome the Japanese when they arrived. Frank is sent out to control the rioting. Burma is overrun by the Japanese and the British suffer a defeat but they reform in 1944 as the 14th Army. Frank seems to recover some of his pride in being a soldier at this point. Frank crosses into Burma where he witnesses some of the most fearful fighting of the Second World War. The Japanese refuse to obey the Geneva Convention and think nothing of bayoneting the sick and dying in the hospital tents. Fighting along side soldiers of the Commonwealth countries, Frank realizes that they are all brothers in arms and his admiration for the Gurkha soldier is evident. Frank lives with death every day. His descriptions of trying to avoid it are very poignant - Like tying to climb inside his helmet in the open jungle. Frank is hit by shrapnel from an exploding bomb and whilst contemplating that he is about to leave the theatre of war, a body of Japanese infantry, and bayonets at the ready, led by an officer brandishing a samurai sword, appear before him but are cut down down by a gunner just in front of his foxhole. Frank recovers in India and is finally sent home at the end of the war. Burma has become known as 'The Forgotten War' as the atrocities were too difficult for some to recall. The lack of food. the long marches, the extreme heat, the diseases. They certainly were a long way from home!


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This book was written by my father whilst recovering from tuberculosis, acquired in the jungles of Burma during World War Two. At the tender age of 16 he was awe-struck by the sight of soldiers in their uniforms and the general kudos of fighting for one's king and country. Frank becomes an NCO and is sent to the Orkney's when War breaks out He seems to have to make the bes This book was written by my father whilst recovering from tuberculosis, acquired in the jungles of Burma during World War Two. At the tender age of 16 he was awe-struck by the sight of soldiers in their uniforms and the general kudos of fighting for one's king and country. Frank becomes an NCO and is sent to the Orkney's when War breaks out He seems to have to make the best of it, his sense of humour and lack of regard for authority, along with the luck of not being caught out, make for interesting reading. He witnesses the Battle of Britain and the Coventry blitz first hand. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour and the war takes a different turn, he is sent to India on a troopship, with a stop over in Durban, South Africa. He acquires some colourful friends but finally his luck runs out and he is demoted. He confesses that at this point his love for the Army and its traditions suffers. Gandhi uses the war to attempt to rid India of British Rule, suggesting to the general population that they should welcome the Japanese when they arrived. Frank is sent out to control the rioting. Burma is overrun by the Japanese and the British suffer a defeat but they reform in 1944 as the 14th Army. Frank seems to recover some of his pride in being a soldier at this point. Frank crosses into Burma where he witnesses some of the most fearful fighting of the Second World War. The Japanese refuse to obey the Geneva Convention and think nothing of bayoneting the sick and dying in the hospital tents. Fighting along side soldiers of the Commonwealth countries, Frank realizes that they are all brothers in arms and his admiration for the Gurkha soldier is evident. Frank lives with death every day. His descriptions of trying to avoid it are very poignant - Like tying to climb inside his helmet in the open jungle. Frank is hit by shrapnel from an exploding bomb and whilst contemplating that he is about to leave the theatre of war, a body of Japanese infantry, and bayonets at the ready, led by an officer brandishing a samurai sword, appear before him but are cut down down by a gunner just in front of his foxhole. Frank recovers in India and is finally sent home at the end of the war. Burma has become known as 'The Forgotten War' as the atrocities were too difficult for some to recall. The lack of food. the long marches, the extreme heat, the diseases. They certainly were a long way from home!

1 review for Memoirs of a Saturday Night Soldier

  1. 5 out of 5

    Frances Burley

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