My books ‘Ditched in Burma’, and ‘Chinese Save Brits: in Burma’, are essentially recording events, experienced by me whilst in service with the British Army. It was the absolute joy of escaping the hum-drum, and meeting so great a variety of individuals.
Not brilliant, but a competent all-rounder at sport, particularly rugby league, boxing, and swimming, successful enough to train with the local City of Leeds 1936 Olympic training squad. A former army boxer himself, my father considered me good enough to become a successful professional at the game.
Engineering experience, amongst men of the highest caliber, particularly under one who guided superbly, and died far too young, was my grounding for respect, of confidence and competence, in any field of activity. There was always the odd charlatan exception, and it proved useful to recognise this throughout my long life of 94 years.
With never a thought of authorship, the urge came upon my finding of the treacherous Churchill's signal of discard secreted away for thirty years. It was sent to Roosevelt, at the time I was serving with the British Army in Burma, and denied medical, ammunition, and food services, to the point of utter desperation.
My pre-war training in sport, and in employment, came to the fore in wartime emergency, and when meeting the necessity, I was not lacking. Recognising the dire situation, in which a dithering titular commander faltered, I usurped, and of necessity assumed command.
There was no hesitation in my dispatching rogue Burmese, particularly when armed, they fired on, and wounded, amongst others, a precious Corporal under my command.
To receive a letter, from Margaret Liu Sun in Washington DC, following her reading my 2001 issue book, ‘No Mandalay, No Maymyo’, more than seventy years after the war, was incredible. To be told that her father was Chinese General Liu Fang-Wu, Commander of Chinese Forces at the Battle of Yenangyaung, in 1942, was a revelation beyond my wildest dreams.
For my wife, Patricia and me, to be invited as ‘Guests of the Republic of China Government – Taiwan’, in March 2013, was absolute magic. To meet with President Ma Ying-jeou and Defence Minister Kao Hou-chu, have an Audience with each, and be decorated by them, puts indifferent Britain: - Churchill, Thatcher, and their numerous followers, in the shade.
When asked four times, of the ‘general standing’, between Britain and the RoC, Britain’s William Hague, Foreign Minister, disgusted, and failed to make one single reply…
To write, rewrite, and edit three books, over more than forty years, with the unstinting help of Patricia, my wife, is demanding in the extreme, although so highly satisfying upon publication.