The Forgotten Highlander: An Incredible WWII Story of Survival in the Pacific

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Alistair Urquhart was a soldier in the Gordon Highlanders, captured by the Japanese in Singapore. Forced into manual labor as a POW, he survived 750 days in the jungle working as a slave on the notorious “Death Railway” and building the Bridge on the River Kwai. Subsequently, he moved to work on a Japanese “hellship,” his ship was torpedoed, and nearly everyone on board the ship died. Not Urquhart. After five days adrift on a raft in the South China Sea, he was rescued by a Japanese whaling ship.

His luck would only get worse as he was taken to Japan and forced to work in a mine near Nagasaki. Two months later, he was just ten miles from ground zero when an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. In late August 1945, he was freed by the American Navy—a living skeleton—and had his first wash in three and a half years.

This is the extraordinary story of a young man, conscripted at nineteen, who survived not just one, but three encounters with death, any of which should have probably killed him. Silent for over fifty years, this is Urquhart’s inspirational tale in his own words. It is as moving as any memoir and as exciting as any great war movie.
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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.

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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 1, 2010
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781628731507
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / Japan
History / Europe / Great Britain / Scotland
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“A searing tribute . . . [to] America in its bleakest hour” (Senator John McCain, New York Times–bestselling author of Faith of My Fathers).
 
On December 13, 1944, POW Estel Myers was herded aboard the Japanese prison ship, the Oryoku Maru, with more than 1,600 other American captives. More than 1,100 of them would be dead by journey’s end . . .
 
The son of a Kentucky sharecropper and an enlistee in the Navy’s medical corps, Myers arrived in Manila shortly before the bombings of Pearl Harbor and the other six targets of the Imperial Japanese military. While he and his fellow corpsmen tended to the bloody tide of soldiers pouring into their once peaceful Naval hospital, the Japanese overwhelmed the Pacific islands, capturing 78,000 POWs by April 1942. Myers was one of the first captured.
 
After a brutal three-year encampment, Myers and his fellow POWs were forced onto an enemy hell ship bound for Japan. Suffocation, malnutrition, disease, dehydration, infestation, madness, and simple despair claimed the lives of nearly three quarters of those who boarded “the beast.”
 
Myers survived.
 
A compelling account of a rarely recorded event in military history, this is more than Estel Myers’ true story—this is an homage to the unfailing courage of men at war, an inspiring chronicle of self-sacrifice and endurance, and a tribute to the power of faith, the strength of the soul, and the triumph of the human spirit.
 
“An inspiring look at one of World War II’s darkest hours.” —James Bradley, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Flags of our Fathers and Flyboys
 
“A searing chronicle.” —Kirkus Reviews
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