Somehow the Second World War is often thought of as a kinder War than Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan. Urquhart’s memoir graphically details the horrors of ANY war. As a 20 year old he’s drafted into the British army and spends almost his entire war in the hands of cruel Japanese and Korean soldiers as he’s forced to build a railroad in the Malaysian jungle along with other UK and Australian soldiers. His keepers completely ignored the Geneva Convention and its tenets. It would have been easy for Urquhart to slip into self pity while telling his story but he doesn’t, he doesn’t need to, the facts are horrible enough. Almost worse was how he was treated when he returned home. The British government asked for documentation of the atrocities he endured. Of course none existed so he was denied the extra pay that would have provided. Instead Urquhart did what so many veterans did and still do and made the most of the life he had ahead of him.