Surviving by Magic, by Fergus Anckorn

as told to Monty Parkin

Fergus Anckorn who had been the youngest member of the Magic Circle, was called up and sent to fight in Singapore. Seven days after he arrived, Singapore fell to the Japanese, and Fergus spent over two years as a PoW, including a period spent on the Thai-Burma "Death Railway"

I heard Fergus on an episode of Midweek (it's still available to listen to at the time of writing) and I found it hard to believe he wasn't more famous: his story is quite an amazing one. Especially the story of how he survived the Alexandra Hospital Massacre.

The book is "as told to" so I guess that Parkin sat with Anckorn with a tape recorder and let him talk, but I don't think a lot has been added: it's not a very literary book, and reads just like a series of recollections. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing: it makes it feel more authentic.

A great story, and worth reading.

Completed : 03-May-2010

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