This is about survival. Plain, and simple. The title of this video is a poor one at best; I think it was divine grace -if anything- that this man survived an ordeal that took the lives of so many others. There are a few, very few, accounts of this theater of war; places like Burma, Thailand, and the Malay Peninsula under Japanese controlled Southeast Asia, have been in a backwater. These soldiers were not only forgotten, but were placed under a gag order of sorts; forbidden to tell anything of what had happened to them. If, as some have stated, the Korean conflict was a “forgotten war”, so much more so for thousands of servicemen who endured inhuman treatment from their Japanese captors.
The Bataan death march, horrible as it was, didn’t come close to what these men, and others with them, went through.
Sadly this man’s last comment leaves one to wonder whether he is an Atheist; though he doesn’t seem bitter, there is no divine acknowledgement; only that he thinks “he made his own luck”.
Published on Mar 6, 2014 on YouTube; if Alistair Urquhart is alive today, he is 92.
During the Second World War Alistair Urquhart was captured by the Japanese, tortured, starved and sent to work on the Death Railway in Thailand. After years in the camp he was loaded onto an airless cargo ship which was torpedoed by an American submarine. Alistair was one of the sole survivors – and drifted alone for days in the South China Sea before being picked up by a ship — a Japanese Whaling vessel. Half dead he was sent to a Japanese prisoner of war camp again. Continuing his thread of bad luck, the camp was in Nagasaki where Alistair bore witness to the devastation of the world’s second atom bomb. This one hour film is the heart-wrenching, personal testimonial of 91 year old Alistair Urquhart set against the backdrop of the little known war in the Far East. RELATED – Part of the Death Railway:
The Real Story of the Bridge on the River Kwai
A 1963 film about the military career of “Vinegar Joe” Stillwell, a U.S. Army General in the Far East including China during World War II.