The Fogotten Highlander by Alistair Urquhart
I found the text very provocative, and got me to thinking of man’s inhumanity to man. Alistair never gave up, even when pitted against unimaginable odds. His ferocity to hang onto life was inspiring, even as comrades fell around him. He could be considered the “luckiest”, unlucky man alive. To survive not only the Fall of Singapore, the Burma railway, the Japanese “hellships” and the then the atomic blast by “Fat Man” at Nagasaki defies all odds. What I found particularly disheartening and disturbing was the fact that upon his return to the UK, nobody wanted to know him, not the Army, not the people. The Army who was the cause of his internment, was not interested in the horrors that he had endured, and would only discharge him from military service if he signed that he was perfectly physically and mentally fit! What was the reason for this? British denial that these events ever took place? Denial of Alistair’s right to timely and appropriate medical and psychological care? Alistair never dwelt on those horrors he endured and got on with his life as best he could. I will never be able to look at ballroom dancing in the same light ever again. My view of rice is forever changed. Alistair, you answered the call, did what your country asked of you, endured unspeakable horror – without ever a complaint or a selfish thought or consideration. I salute you Sir!