Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, United States
This story of a prisoner of war begins with the author’s early life and how he then joined-up in 1940 as an old soldier (he was nearly 36), being captured and spending five years as a prisoner of war far from civilisation. None of the pranks and practical jokes of the officer PoWs – no barbed-wire because there was nowhere to go.
In the depths of the terrible winter of 1944-45, and in the face of the advancing Russians, the German guards route-marched the prisoners from Poland all the way to Austria where Arthur and his comrades were liberated by the Americans at the end of April 1945. They had no proper footwear, scant clothing and starvation-ration food – but they survived. He never talked about the war until he recounted his story to Paul Davies who recorded it in order to write this book.
That long ordeal of the forced march is largely forgotten these days despite the hundreds, if not thousands, of prisoners who perished on it – it deserves to be remembered.