Last time I posted on this Blog I mentioned I was trying to get hold of a copy of Ponam - A Base of the Forgotten Fleet by Harry J Bannister and that Waterstones were on the case trying to fulfil my order. Unfortunately, they sent an email the other day to say the book was unavailable. I've looked on Ebay and on a couple of specialist book-sites and there's no sign of it there either; so I suppose that's that. I'm disappointed because I thought the book might have a really full account of what went on on Ponam Island in 1945.
My dad didn't write much in his diary once he got there and afterwards he told a relative they all thought they were going to die so I don't suppose writing about it was very high on his priority list at the time. During the 1950s when we were growing up, our dad never talked about his war-time experiences and we weren't all that interested anyway. Sadly he died when he was in his mid-fifties and now we do want to know what happened to a member of our family in a by-gone age, he's not here to tell us.
From time to time I call in at a fascinating website forum called World War Two Talk where you can look in on some of the veterans talking about their experiences (and join in the conversation as well if you wish). It's interesting how many people of my generation (baby-boomers) and younger are trying to piece together the story of their relative's war-time activities and understand it better.
I'm reading an extraordinary book at the moment about conflict between China and Japan in the late 1930s. It's entitled Shanghai 1937:Stalingrad on the Yangtze by Peter Harmsen. I've borrowed it from my local public library and re-newed it several times. It's fascinating and very well researched but not easy reading. The book describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century which at its height involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers and countless civilians. The author contends that the Battle of Shanghai was a dress rehearsal for World War II - or even the inaugural act in the war. You can check it out at Waterstones if you're interested and unlike my Ponam book this one is in stock and they say it ships in 24 hours.
I Think I Prefer the Tinned Variety by N. Buckle & C.Murray is available as an ebook in the Amazon Kindle Store 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! If you don't read with a Kindle you can download a free app for your computer which is well worth doing as there are so many free books available including one of our own publications Julia's Room by Michael Murray.
Thanks for reading and hope you have time to look at some of the other posts on my Tinned Variety Blog.