The man who refused to die





They came to think of themselves as the forgotten army - the men who endured years of suffering in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps during World War II.

Yet many of the survivors, when they came back, never spoke of what they had seen and suffered. Now, one survivor of the camps has broken his 65-year silence.

Alistair Urquhart, then a 22-year-old Gordon Highlander from Aberdeen, became a prisoner of war without firing a shot.

He, with hundreds of others, was marched through the jungle to a prison camp. Many died from dehydration and exhaustion on the long march.

They were then put to work on the building of a railway. It involved cutting a path through a sheer stone cliff face the men came to call Hellfire Pass.

He ended up in a camp in mainland Japan. He was there when the war ended. But his prison camp was a few miles from the city of Nagasaki.


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