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  • The Forgotten Highlander

  • My Incredible Story of Survival During the War in the Far East
  • By: Alistair Urquhart
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 3 hrs and 14 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (217 ratings)

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Summary

Alistair Urquhart was a soldier in the Gordon Highlanders captured by the Japanese in Singapore. He not only survived working on the notorious Bridge on the River Kwai , but he was subsequently taken on one of the Japanese ‘hellships’ which was torpedoed. Nearly everyone else on board died and Urquhart spent 5 days alone on a raft in the South China Sea before being rescued by a whaling ship. He was taken to Japan and then forced to work in a mine near Nagasaki. Two months later a nuclear bomb dropped just ten miles away . . .

This is the extraordinary story of a young men, conscripted at nineteen and whose father was a Somme Veteran, survived not just one, but three close encounters with death - encounters which killed nearly all his comrades.

©2010 Alistair Urquhart (P)2010 Hachette Digital

What listeners say about The Forgotten Highlander

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Fearless

I love this genre and have read many accounts of POW survivors but this is really excellent. Well paced with just enough detail to draw you in without getting bogged down in trivia but also shockingly frank. Alistair Urquhart could be anyone's grandfather and has recorded a very moving account of his internment including moments of bravery and cowardice. Wonderful!

2 people found this helpful

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amazing story from a very brave proud man.

just listen to it! an amazing true story from an equally amazing man. I dont jnow what else to say, just listen to it.

1 person found this helpful

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this is good

Thoroughly enjoyed this book and got a bit of history to boot.

1 person found this helpful

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A Remarkable story

A gripping book written by an amazing man written when he was 90 after keeping silent for nearly 70 years about the horrendous treatment he and hundreds of others suffered at the hands of the Japanese. The writing conjures up pictures so sharp you would think the events took place recently. Apart from the horrors of life as a prisoner of the Japanese the callous treatment the men received on returning to GB is a revelation and does the reputation of the men in power after WW2 no credit at all. A moving, harrowing and fascinating tale of great courage beautifully read.

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Lest We Forget!

I suspect most of us have indeed forgot, or as is more likely, knew very little of the Japanese prison camps during the 2nd WW beyond what we saw from Hollywood portrayals. So we are indebted to Mr Urquhart for his brave recalling his experiences. Mr Rintoul is in my opinion the best narrator on Audible, being Scottish himself made the reading all the more poignant. I am glad however that it was only three hours long, three hours is plenty of hearing man's inhumanity to man. Listen to this, lest we forget the sacrifice of these young men, for the British government quickly did.

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unbelievable totally loved this book.

This book kept me reading it till the very end.
what a remarkable person.
and what he endured.

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Incredible story!

Where do I start? A harrowing story highlighting the brutality of war that most of us cannot begin to understand. Alistair’s book definitely helps. Sad to hear how badly they were treated by our own government. 100% worth the listen

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Amazing book

Best War based book I have read definitely recommend this book to anyone who like ww2

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Outstanding

An absolute must. A desperate story wonderfully told, giving enough detail to give the listener the horrors of this war but without excess. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although "enjoyed" does rather seem the wrong word to use. The narrator has the perfect voice and delivery adding to the listening experience. Everyone should hear this story. EVERYONE. I thank Mr Urquhart for his service and for sharing his story, and all the men that gave all, and i am shamed by the treatment by the military on return.

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brought tears to my eyes

we should be teaching this subject to the kids at school they should know the struggles our grandfathers went through.
it would help the youngsters deal with the problems life hits them with.
LEAST WE FORGET

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  • Austin Jarrett
  • 14-08-17

Never complain!

This story reminds us that our problems are not that bad. Complaining, comparably, seems silly.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacob
  • 25-05-10

FANTASTIC

A simply horrofying story! I am amazed that this man did not die, or went insane!
Never in my wilded fantasy did I think the Japanese was this cruel. READ IT! It is an eyeopener. Only critical point is that the book is abridged. I would have liked to read the entire book, as the story seems a bit short.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jeff D. Kimball
  • 24-01-18

Gripping

If ever you need a reminder of how good you have it and how terribly others have sufferred... read this book. How one man can fight to stay alive through so much hardship is beyond comprehension. An amazing story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elliott Ramsden
  • 20-08-17

Terrific and Terrifying

Read this book.

It will teach you about true suffering and true mental fortitude. This book has had a profound impact on how I perceive my own challenges. Alistair's humble lessons are encased in a story of unimaginable terrors.

The biggest lesson? Anything can be overcome with pure mental toughness.

The voice acting is exceptional.

1 person found this helpful

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  • george
  • 28-10-12

Best WW2 eyewitness account, ever!!

I fell in love with Alistair Urquhart. I cried and cheered and I learned so much more about WW2 than I thought possible in one man's story. That he was still dancing 5 days a week at age 90 (2010) is a testimony to his strength of mind and body. 3 hours and 14 minutes that I highly recommend.

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  • J. R.
  • 07-06-21

The sacrifices of these great men can never be forgotten

Though somewhat short, a harrowing story of Mr. Urquhart and his comrades capture, death marches, and transport to Thailand where they would carve out the “railway of death”, with fellow brits, Aussies, Americans, New Zealanders (etc) (and hundreds of thousands of native slave laborers) carved a path through some of the toughest terrain on earth. (Among many other horrific events) Often to be treated as one less than a murderer upon return. May god bless the souls of these men of the greatest generation. What they achieved and went through to liberate millions in the Second World War can never be forgotten. The world is a lesser place without them.

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  • Champ
  • 23-03-21

Great story

Good story that keeps you interested and shows real war. Although I was told its inspiring and I would say its not extremely inspiring.

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  • Joseph Condello
  • 25-02-21

Just...Wow!

I do like first person books, I wasn’t expecting to ever find myself reading a book about a historical event, but this books changed my mind! I loved it! I learned things I never knew, I learned what real suffering means, I learned the real meaning of “hang in there”!!!
A+ for me!

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  • Scott C
  • 19-12-20

Inspiring achievement of overcoming.

Reveals the truth about the brutality of the Japanese treatment of their prisoners of war as well as the disgraceful way the returning prisoners were treated by the British government. Yet is also an inspiring story of survival and the human spirits ability to overcome the greatest of challenges.

The reader also delivers the best audiobook performance I’ve ever heard!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-10-20

WOW!

I live by the motto of “There is no such thing as can’t.” This book is simply a life changing listen. Please do yourself a favor and listen to it all the way through!