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Scattered Under the Rising Sun: The Gordon Highlanders in the Far East 1941-1945

Scattered Under the Rising Sun: The Gordon Highlanders in the Far East 1941-1945

by Stewart Mitchell


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2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders was posted to Singapore in 1937 with their families. When the Japanese invaded Malaya in December 1941, the Battalion fought bravely until the surrender of Singapore on 14 February 1942. Those who were not killed became POWs. Of the 1000 men involved initially, over 400 had died by their liberation in summer 1945.

Despite the diverse background of the members of the Battalion, all were bound by close regimental spirit. As POWs, all suffered hard labor, starvation, brutality and tropical diseases. Rank was no protection from death.

After initial incarceration in Singapore, the Gordons were dispersed to work on the famous Thai-Burma railway, in the mines of Taiwan and Japan and on other slave labor projects. Conditions defy modern comprehension. Others died trapped in hell-ships torpedoed by allied submarines.

The author has researched the plight of these extraordinary men, so many of whom never saw their native Scotland again. Despite the grim conditions, he captures the strong collective regimental spirit and the humor and cooperation that saved so many who would have otherwise have perished – as many did.

This is an inspiring tale of courage and survival against appalling odds.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781590256
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 02/02/2013
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Stewart Mitchell became Volunteer Researcher at the Gordons Museum, Aberdeen in 2005 after a career in environmental protection. He lives with his wife at Bridge of Down, Aberdeen.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Foreword Lieutenant General Sir Peter Graham KCB CBE xi

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Chapter 2 Prelude - The Road to Singapore 7

Chapter 3 The Battle for Singapore 35

Chapter 4 Captured! - The Distribution of Gordon Highlanders PoWs 61

Chapter 5 'Their Road Was Long and Their Pleasures Few' 105

Chapter 6 Liberation 145

Appendix The Men of the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders 167

Bibliography 209

Index 210

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