The Burma Siam Railway

The story of the the 'Railway of Death' as recorded in the secret diary of Dr Robert Hardie,  an army officer who spent three years trying ease the suffering of his fellow PoWs.

The story of the the ‘Railway of Death’ as recorded in the diary of Dr Robert Hardie, an army officer who spent three years trying to ease the suffering of his fellow PoWs.

The original of this Diary was buried in the cemetery at Chungkai for fear of discovery by the Japanese and dug up in 1945. Published for the first time 40 years after the completion ofthe railway, Dr Hardie’s Diary tells the true story ofthe 16,000 Allied prisoners who died from sickness, exhaustion and malnutrition.

In appalling conditions, using surgical instruments improvised out of scrap metal and with totally inadequate supplies of drugs and dressings, Hardie and his fellow Allied medical officers fought to stem the ravages of beriberi, cholera, malaria, tropical ulcers, dysentery and other diseases.

It is a remarkable contemporary record written by a cultivated, objective and sensitive observer, whose delight in nature was a major sustaining influence during the darkest days of his captivity.

The text is illustrated with Robert Hardie’s own wartime sketches and watercolours.

The immensely brave, selfless and indomitable Dr Hardie . . . this amazingly prosaic and factual diary . . . talented drawings of landscape and flora.

The Daily Telegraph