Secret Letters from the Railway
Charles Steel took part in two military disasters - the Fall of France and the Dunkirk evacuation, and the Fall of Singapore. Shortly before the latter, he married Louise. Within days of being captured by the Japanese, he began writing a weekly letter to his new bride as means of keeping in touch with her in his mind, for the Japanese forbade all writing of letters and diaries. By the time he was liberated 3 1/2 years later, he had written and hidden some 180 letters, to which were added a further 20 post-liberation letters. Part love-letter, part diary these unique letters intended for Louise's eyes only describe the horror of working as a slave on the Burma - Siam Railway and, in particular, the construction of the famous Bridge over the River Kwai. It is also an uplifting account of how man can rise above adversity and even secretly get back at his captors by means of 'creative accounting'!. Now, for the first time, we can share the appalling and inspiring experiences of this remarkable man.
- 2004 Brian Best, 2
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