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At War With My Father

Fred Howe: Prisoner of War

Author: Lynette Ramsay Silver

Based on Memoirs of Fred Howe and Dianne Elliott

Lynettes new book examines harrowing consequence of war

To purchase a copy of this insight into the consequences of the war, please email Lynette for details. The book is available in Australia from (RRP AUS$39.85 plus AUS$7.95 delivery) and in the UK: from Gazelle Book Services or online from Amazon UK.

Lynette Silver is a renowned writer in Australia and has produced a number of books about her

father and the Far-East POW experience over the last few years. Her latest has

now been released, entitled ‘At War With My Father’ and although a war story, it differs from her normal projects. Lynette takes up the description…

“My new book has three voices - me as narrator, Fred Howe as a POW, who had the worst possible battle and POW experience, and his daughter, Di Elliott, who was affected by her father’s trauma.

“It starts in Malaya in February 1941, and covers the story of  Fred and 2/19 Battalion, and his first-hand accounts of the bitter fighting at Parit Sulong, the attack on Singapore Island, and the ill-fated X Battalion - the only first-hand account I have ever come across, as they were all but wiped out. The POW section covers Selarang Camp, then moves in May 1942 to Burma and on to Thailand, where Fred remained until the war’s end. My new work is a story of war and reconciliation, and an epic exploration of survival on the infamous Thai/Burma railway. Read the prologue and you’ll wonder if, and how, Di can ever forgive her father. But by the end, you know why she does.

“I inherited the very special task of writing this story when Di, who had fortunately recorded most of her thoughts, was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. I promised her before she died that I would ‘finish Dad’s story’. So  I did”.

An quotation from the book in Di’s voice reads...

“As a young girl, I had no understanding of the war. All my father had ever told me was that his mates had been shot and killed on either side of him during the fighting......I never asked any questions, so received no answers, answers that I would come to crave. I now realise why, for so much of my life, I have been at war with my father, literally and by following in his footsteps. I am also finally understanding the degree to which his experiences impacted our relationship. Fred Howe was a prisoner of war for more than three years. I have been a virtual prisoner for sixty.”