This image is the cover for the book From Shanghai to the Burma Railway

From Shanghai to the Burma Railway

A graphic record of one man’s experience in an infamous POW camp during World War II, and how he survived being forced to build the “Death Railway.”

Captured after fighting in the Malayan Campaign, Richard Laird was incarcerated in Changi before being drafted as slave labor with “F” Force on the notorious Burma Railway. He was one of only 400 out of 1600 to survive Songkurai No. 2 Camp, despite disease and terrible hardship.

His moving memoir begins with a rare description of ex-patriate life in 1930s Shanghai with the Sino-Japanese war raging around the European cantonments.

An additional dimension to his story is the developing relationship between the author and Bobbie Coupar Patrick to whom he became engaged shortly before the fall of Singapore. Bobbie’s letters graphically described her dramatic escape to Australia and work for Force 136. They were reunited in Colombo, Ceylon and their son has been instrumental in compiling this exceptional record.

Three appendices round off this superb book including the official report on the hardships and losses suffered by “F” Force.

“A compelling story that deserves to be widely read.” —Firetrench

Rory Laird

Born in 1911, Richard Laird was educated at Harrow and Cambridge. In 1937 he was sent by the Sun Insurance Company to Shanghai. Two years later he moved to Singapore and was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps. His wartime experiences in Singapore and on the Burma Railway are described in this memoir. Reunited with his fiancée Bobbie Coupar Patrick in Ceylon in 1945, the couple married in London in 1946 before returning to Singapore. Later they lived in the Thames Valley for many years. Richard died in 2008. **Editor Details:** Richard and Bobbie’s son, Rory Laird is a former Fleet Air Arm officer with a deep interest in family history. He lives in Scotland with his wife Shelagh, where he pursues his other interests in hill-walking (he has completed all the Scottish Munroes) and, on a not very business-like basis, landscape gardening and antique furniture restoration.

Pen and Sword/Pen and Sword Military