New Book about WWII – These Valiant Men

These Valiant Men –  The Story of Eight British Servicemen in World War II in the Far East –  by Victor S. Ient

At last my book is published! For more info click HERE

It wasn’t until my father died, in 1988, that it dawned on me that I actually knew very little about his life as a soldier and more especially about his life as a POW. I had clues and snippets but I needed more if I were to write his story. My mother outlived my father by 11 years so I accumulated more little stories which were like briefly opening a ‘window on the past.’ I went on the hunt for dad’s fellow servicemen and POWs who were still alive. Luckily I actually met four of them and gathered the information about the other three with the help of contacts and descendants including Adrian Batty whose father was in the same POW camp as my dad. Adrian wrote the chapter about his father. I was also helped by an experienced WWII historian who has kindly written the forward, – Dr Tony Banham. The experiences of the other POWs has enabled me to fill the gaps in my childhood memories to make a full (well almost) account of what it was like for them from 1941 until 1945.

In the book I present you with the biographies of these eight men. It’s not all doom and gloom, as you will see. Of course, they describe some of the horrors, but their characters are strong. Their factual and sometimes humorous accounts have brought into focus what life was like in those terrible years.

There are many books written about and by great leaders and generals, but what about the ordinary guy? Their story is worthy of the telling as well.  These eight were ordinary guys who were caught up in the global war during the 1940s, many of them young men, just finding their way in life who saw a career in the Services as adventure and travel. Little did they know what was to befall them in 1941!  Read this book if you’re interested in understanding how, by accident and luck, I was able to piece together the circumstances surrounding my father’s capture and imprisonment. By investigating the lives of other servicemen who ended up in POW camps in Japan I’ve been able to tell my father’s story.

Paddy Ashdown’s book – Game of Spies, WWII

This is a fascinating story by Lord Ashdown (Paddy Ashdown). Whilst the story recounts the heroic actions of many SOE and French resistance agents, it focuses primarily on three people – a British secret agent Roger Landes; the Gestapo counter-espionage officer Frederick Dohse; and a French resistance leader André Grandclément who was responsible for most of the controversial betrayal that took place in France from 1942 to 1944. At first, I thought this was going to be documentary recounting the many conflicts between the Gestapo and the resistance and SOE in France. But it’s more than that, – it’s a gripping story that unfolds during World War II from the time the SOE agents are trained in England to the final days of the liberation of the Bordeaux area and the snub given to British agents by General de Gaulle. The book was clearly painstakingly researched – there are literally hundreds of references. Highly recommended!

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