The Forgotten Army: A Burma Soldier's Story in Letters, Photographs and Sketches by James Fenton

The Forgotten Army: A Burma Soldier's Story in Letters, Photographs and Sketches

byJames Fenton

Kobo ebook | January 21, 2017

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The Forgotten Army consists of the letters, photos and sketches of a soldier fighting the Japanese in Burma that were sent home to the author's parents in Lancashire. Call-up documents, medical certificate, service pay book, discharge papers, letter index, family tree, news cuttings, leaflets, and 440 letters spanning military service in the army at home, India, Burma and Malaya. Copies of sketches, illustrations, photographs and paintings have been placed with original letters where reference is made. Sketches of the attack on Myitson, and copies of illustrations printed in the magazine Soldier, are the only drawings of wartime actions that have survived. Original portraits in watercolour, pictorial scenes and photographs, have been exhibited at various venues, a larger number have never been on show. In additions to the letters sent to his family, many more were written to his brother Harry serving with the Royal Corps of Signals. Strict censorship regulations on leaving England prohibited the disclosure of troop ships, military activities, locations and place names, or information that may be of value to an enemy. Hostile encounters with Japanese forces during the Burma campaign were not allowed to be repeated until the closing days of the war. The last of the author's experiences as a soldier serving in uniform is related to letters to his wife. This is a continuous account of military service during World War 2, from the very first day in the army, to the last.

Title:The Forgotten Army: A Burma Soldier's Story in Letters, Photographs and SketchesFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:January 21, 2017Publisher:Fonthill MediaLanguage:English

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting, but a trifle mundane I read this book because my grandfather had served in the same theatre of war. It told me a lot about the everyday life of the author while serving in the "Forgotten Army". Forgotten he was not as he received a steady stream of mail throughout. I was amazed he found so much time to write so many letters. What was lacking, for security reasons then, was any real information about the war in which he was serving. I would have liked to have seen his letters and pictures interspersed with the events and battles at the time. This would have made the book more interesting than his requests for more paints or thanking family for the cigarettes, which became a bit tedious and repetitive after a while. Nevertheless, an interesting if a trifle mundane insight into the life of a British soldier in India and Burma.
Date published: 2013-04-08