The Will to Live

A Japanese POWs Memoir of Captivity and The Railway

L L Baynes

Date Published :
August 2013
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
8pp b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781593004

Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 192
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Len Baynes’ courage and mental and physical strength kept him alive during the 1000 days of captivity by the barbarous Japanese army. The difficulties and risks involved in keeping a diary were immense and yet Len persevered although it meant deliberately defacing and cutting up the small pieces of paper.

As a result of this extraordinary feat, Len’s record is pure fact. To read his account of life and death first during the fruitless fighting and then captivity in numerous camps in Singapore and Thailand is a humbling and moving experience. He describes not just the appalling hardship and brutality but his relationships with fellow POWs, his captors and the local population. As an NCO he found himself ‘fronting up’ for his men and this led to some very difficult situations with both the Japanese and, at times, his British officers.

He is very candid in his views but, while he found a number of superiors lacking, others such as the legendary Colonel Toosey have nothing but his respect and gratitude.

The Will To Live is a fine example of the Japanese POW/Railway of Death genre. The Author’s drawing add to its interest but his writing is honest and direct and reveals so much about the nightmare experiences suffered by the Author and his colleagues. No to be missed.

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