Bill Innes St. Valery: The Impossible Odds

ISBN 13: 9781843410195

St. Valery: The Impossible Odds

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9781843410195: St. Valery: The Impossible Odds
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Of the countless volumes about the Second World War, many of them dealing with the experiences of prisoners of war, relatively few were written by private soldiers, far less those who could take a poet's perspective on the experience. In the prisoner-of-war camps the lot of the ordinary soldier, subjected daily to arduous forced-labour, was completely different to that of his officers who could not be ordered to work. Two of the main contributors to this collection of soldiers' reminiscences, Angus Campbell from Lewis and Donald John MacDonald from South Uist, were both traditional Gaelic bards. Their work has been translated from their native language and reflects both the richness of the vocabulary they had acquired through the Gaelic oral tradition and their individual gifts as natural story-tellers born out of that tradition. These vivid accounts bring alive the chaos and horror of war and the grim deprivation of the camps and forced marches which so many endured. Many of the survivors were unable even to talk of their experiences till decades after the war. At the age of 89, Archie Macphee could still say of the surrender at St Valery, 'It was the saddest day of my life.' Yet

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Review:

'Bill Innes's work and the stories his protagonists have to tell are remarkable, both in their content and in their sheer quality of writing.' - Nairn Telegraph

About the Author:

Bill Innes was born in Kinlochleven, brought up on Uist and studied at Glasgow University. He was an airline pilot for forty years before becoming a well-known presenter and reporter on Gaelic radio and TV. He edited the much acclaimed edition of Donald John MacDonald's poetry Chi Mi, which won the 1999 An Comunn Gaidhealach Mod Award for best book.

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9781843410393: St.Valery: The Impossible Odds

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ISBN 10:  1843410397 ISBN 13:  9781843410393
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd, 2007
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