Survivor of the Long March

Survivor of the Long March : Five Years as a PoW 1940-1945

3.88 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Nothing prepares a man for war and Private Charles Waite, of the Queen's Royal Regiment, was ill-prepared when his convoy took a wrong turning near Abbeville and met 400 German soldiers and half a dozen tanks. `The day I was captured, I had a rifle but no ammunition.' He lost his freedom that day in May 1940 and didn't regain it until April 1945 when he was rescued by Americans near Berlin, having walked 1,600 kms from East Prussia.

Silent for seventy years, Charles writes about his five lost years: the terrible things he saw and suffered; his forced work in a stone quarry and on farms; his period in solitary confinement for sabotage; and his long journey home in one of the worst winters on record, across the frozen river Elbe, to Berlin and liberation. His story is also about friendship, of physical and mental resilience and of compassion for everyone who suffered. Part of that story includes the terrible Long March, or Black March, when 80,000 British POWs were forced to trek through a vicious winter westwards across Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany as the Soviets approached. Thousands died. There are simply no memoirs of that terrible trek - except this one.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 156 x 236 x 28mm | 539.77g
  • Stroud, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0752465198
  • 9780752465197
  • 973,223

Review quote

Dame Vera Lynn DBE, LLD, M Mus, Patron of The National Ex-Prisoner of War Association (NEXPOWA, wrote in November 2011 about the book :"I am pleased to see that there are books being written about the prisoners and this episode of a time when people suffered and tried to survive in such terrible conditions during WWII."
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About Dee Vardera

CHARLES WAITE was born in Barking, Essex in 1919 and was called up to the Queen's Royal Regiment in October 1939. He was captured in France in May 1940 and spent five years as a POW in farm camps attached to Stalag 20B in East Prussia. In January 1945 he started his four-month march home walking over 1600km to Berlin. He married his sweetheart, Lily Mathers, and worked for Macarthys Pharmaceuticals for 34 years, moving to Kidderminster in 1972 where he still lives. His only son Brian died in 2006 and wife Lily in 2007. He joined the National ex-Prisoner of War Association (NEXPOWA) and met Terry Waite at the Captured exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North in May 2009. In 2010 he returned to France with Testimony Films for Dunkirk the Forgotten Heroes (Discovery Channel) and appeared in The Long March to Freedom (Yesterday Channel) in 2011. In September 2010 he received the National POW/MIA Recognition Day Award from the Air Force Sergeants' Association Chapter 1669. DEE LA VARDERA is a freelance writer living in Wiltshire. A member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (SWWJ) she has written features for national and regional magazines and newspapers, as well as a series of local history books published by the Frith Book Co. Her website is:
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Rating details

9 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 56% (5)
4 11% (1)
3 11% (1)
2 11% (1)
1 11% (1)
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