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Railroad of death

Railroad of death

Coast, John, author; Noszlopy, Laura, author; Nash, Justin, 1982-1999, illustrator

A bestseller in 1946, 'Railroad of Death' is the first and best account of forced labour on the Burma Railway. John Coast was a young officer in the Norfolk Regiment who was taken prisoner at the Fall of Singapore in February 1942. He took notes and concealed them from the Japanese for nearly three years, but he lost the lot when he was forced to bury them in Chungkai Camp to avoid repeated searches. Coast had to write the book all over again while on the voyage home. His book is moving, dramatic and chilling in the detail it gives of the cruelty inflicted by Japanese and Korean soldiers on the prisoners and Asian workers who died in even greater numbers working on the railway

Book. English.
New edition.
Published Newcastle upon Tyne: Myrmidon, 2014
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Statement of responsibility: John Coast, Laura Noszlopy ; illustrated by Justin Nash
ISBN: 1905802935, 9781905802937
Physical Description: 1 volume : illustrations
Subject: Coast, John.; World War, 1939-1945 Personal narratives, British.; World War, 1939-1945 Prisoners and prisons, Japanese.; Prisoners of war Burma.; Prisoners of war Great Britain.; Warfare and Defence.

Author note

John Coast (1916-1989) was a prisoner of war that was sent into Thailand to build railways for the Japanese and the story of that time, Railroad of Death, became a bestseller and was later to form the subject of Return to the River Kwai, a documentary made in 1969 for the BBC. After the war, and back in London, Coast became a manager and an impressario to such artists as Mario Lanza, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Jon Vickers and Montserrat Caballe. He was the first man to present Bob Dylan in London and take Ravi Shankar to the West.


"a harrowing account."  —The New York Times