In December 1941 the Japanese invaded Burma. For the British, the longest land campaign of the Second World War had begun. 100,000 African soldiers were taken from Britain's colonies to fight the Japanese in the Burmese jungles. They performed heroically in one of the most brutal theatres of war, yet their contribution has been largely ignored. Isaac Fadoyebo was one of those 'Burma Boys'. At the age of sixteen he ran away from his Nigerian village to join the British Army. Sent to Burma, he was attacked and left for dead in the jungle by the Japanese. Sheltered by courageous local rice farmers, Isaac spent nine months in hiding before his eventual rescue. He returned to Nigeria a hero, but his story was soon forgotten. Barnaby Phillips travelled to Nigeria and Burma in search of Isaac, the family who saved his life, and the legacy of an Empire. Another Man's War is Isaac's story.
'Barnaby Phillips has uncovered a tale which touches the world in every sense. The story is a deceptively simple one, of a lanky boy who runs away from his dusty Nigerian village to join the British Army and is left for dead thousands of miles from home in the Burmese jungle. The miraculous sheltering and survival of Isaac Fadoyebo not only make an irresistible human drama. They also illustrate the terrifying global swirl of the conflict. Told with warmth and colour, this account of a forgotten soldier in a forgotten army in a forgotten war will not itself be easily forgotten.'
Ferdinand Mount, author of The New Few
'Dramatic, moving, often shocking, painstakingly researched and brilliantly told, Another Man's War is a story the world should hear, not just so that West Africans may know the part they played in the Burma campaign and in the Second World War, but so that Britain and the world knows it too.'
Aminatta Forna, author of The Hired Man and The Memory of Love
'Another Man's War is a testament to the kindness of strangers and the power of memory. Meticulous research is matched by profound human emotion.'
Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4 News
'A rich story, richly told. An inspiring instance of common human deceny, handled brilliantly by a writer whose research is as dogged as his touch is fine.'
Tim Butcher, author of Blood River and Chasing the Devil
'The hard-won victories of the Second World War define British identity to an extraordinary degree. Phillips illuminates vividly, through a very human story, how that ostensible struggle between democracy and fascism was experienced and interpreted by a large majority of the world's population. Another Man's War admirably complicates and deepens our sense of history.'
Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire
'An enthralling human story of soldiers whose sacrifice has been too long neglected... This book deserves to become a classic of war history.'
Fergal Keane, BBC Foreign Correspondent and author of Road of Bones
Publication date: 04/06/2015
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Publication date: 04/09/2014
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
|Publication date:||4th June 2015|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites, History,|
|Categories:||Biography: historical, political & military, Second World War, Asian history, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000,|
Barnaby Phillips is a senior correspondent for Al Jazeera English, which he joined at the time of its launch in 2006. His documentary Burma Boy won the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. Previously, he was for fifteen years a correspondent for the BBC, reporting primarily from Africa. Phillips grew up in Kenya and now lives in London. This is his first book.More About Barnaby Phillips