For Your Tomorrow (Film) Review
by Jack Holroyd (Editor, Author and Historian)
Director: Don Clark
Running Time: 68:00
Cruel, fanatical soldiers who would rather die than surrender; an environment that rotted a man's apparel and drained his energy; strange insects, snakes and leeches, creatures that could, and did, deliver disfiguring jungle sores, crippling diseases and death; a dearth of equipment and supplies; add to this lethal mix a demoralising lack of awareness of the plight of the combatants by a homeland caught up in euphoria of victory over Hitler's Germany – then you have the experience of men of the 'Forgotten Army' in 1945. However, the fighting and hardship had been ongoing for three years, during which period many of those engaged felt neglected. Despite all this, capable British commanders took the Japanese on at their own game of jungle warfare and defeated them.
A new DVD by Word of Mouth Films tells the story of the XIV th Army in Burma through the words of veterans of the Burma Campaign, featuring the Burma Star Association of Wolverhampton. Using a mix of newsreel footage of the time, along with interviews of veterans and family members, location film shot at museums and items of memorabilia, the gripping story is told. Exceptional is the matching of spoken word with actual film depicting exactly what the veterans are describing. For example, the wounded Japanese soldier one of the witnesses is sent to finish off, who committed suicide by operating the trigger of his rifle with his big toe – we are shown wartime footage depicting an instance of this method of self-destruction. Remarkable picture research to support the veteran's narrative. The whole, amounting to a truly amazing piece of work by oral historian Don Clark. He has amassed 80 hours of interviews and professionally edited the result into a visual presentation that holds the attention throughout.
The DVD's title and theme, FOR YOUR TOMORROW, has been taken by way of informing the in-coming generations of what occurred in the Far East during the Second World War. A time when men and women from Britain fought a vicious invader to a standstill, drove him back and then soundly defeated him. We are reminded, with powerful imagery, that the generation which experienced those historic events are fast disappearing.
The declared intention of this production is to make people think – certainly schools would benefit from a showing and class discussion of this highly professional work. Congratulations to Don Clark in providing this easy-to-access illustrated oral history.
To view the trailer and order your copy, please visit www.foryourtomorrow.com and enter discount code WARFARE for your £2 discount or send a cheque, payable to For Your Tomorrow Ltd for £12.59 (£9.99 + £2.60 p&p) to For Your Tomorrow Ltd, 3a Upper Green, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 8QQ Tel: 01902 744777.
Of further interest...
The Air Battle for Burma began 75 years agoWed 16th November
7 December 2016 – 75 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and invasion of Malaya and Burma. Read article...
Disabled Veterans remember the FallenFri 18th November
Disabled veterans from The Royal Star & Garter Homes paid tribute to the Fallen at several Remembrance events, in the centenary year of the Battle of the Somme and the Charity’s own Centenary. Read article...
The Lengthening WarWed 3rd August
Michael Goode describes how he brought his Great Great Aunt's Great War diaries to life in his striking new book. Read article...