Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: The Scottish Cockney by Jack Ransom

Publisher: Olympia, March 27, 2014.
Genre: Memoir, Autobiography, World War II, Prisoner of War.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 240.
Rating: 4 Stars.
Source: Free copy from Olympia Publishers in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own feelings and opinions.

Available @ Amazon. 

A silent, short film of the Burma Railway.


There are several very good documentaries on the history of the prisoners that built the Burma Railway, the war camps, and survivor stories.

The video lasts almost 1 hour but gives the full spectrum of the story, including the gravity of the situation for the prisoners.


Summary:
The Scottish Cockney is the memoir of Jack Ransom. From childhood and youth, through to his years spent during World War II as a Prisoner of War, his marriages, a visit back to Burma. Jack Ransom, reflects on his life through the pages of The Scottish Cockney.

My Thoughts:
Although the book is all of Ransom's life thus far, the aspect of the book which led me to give a 4 star review is his memories as a Prisoner of War. History through his lens gave me a lesson in the atrocities of what the Prisoners of War lived through during the Burma Railway. This is the first book I have read on this history.
I've read a few books on the Pacific War. I've read an excellent book by Darlene Deibler Rose about her experience as a Prisoner of War on the island of New Guinea. The book is titled Evidence Not Seen.
I feel that Ransom's writing of the war years should be lengthier. The memory of this period of his life must be difficult to reminisce, but I feel history shared is important. As is often the case a Prisoner of War does not talk about his experience, not even to family. After returning home they begin a new life, and try and not think about nor talk about what happened. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which includes flashbacks, anxiety, and nightmares, follow them through the years.

More books on this period in history:
The Forgotten Highlander by Alistair Urquhart
Railway Man by Eric Lomax
Prisoner of Japan by Harold Atcherley


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