Pick Up Your Parrots and Monkeys... and fall in facing the boats

Pick Up Your Parrots and Monkeys... and fall in facing the boats

ISBN13: 9780304365647
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'Pick up your parrots and monkeys, and fall in facing the boat' was the traditional last order given to a detachment of British soldiers heading home from India. William Pennington heard it from the 'old salts' he met on the docks as he arrived in India at the age of 15. Enlisted as a 'boy soldier', a bugler in the horse artillery, he served in the 1930s when the British Army in India was little changed from that described by Kipling. Pennington's compelling description of army life in the last days of the Raj is followed by an equally moving account of his experiences in the Burma campaign. Promoted from the ranks, he fought the Japanese as an artillery officer, specialising in forward observation: the most dangerous job in the jungle.

Type Book
Number Of Pages 414
Item Height 37 mm
Item Width 160 mm
Item Weight 779 Gram
Product Dimensions 160 x 37 x 242
Publisher Cassell
Format Hardcover | 414
Book Overview Unforgettable portrayal of the last days of the Indian Raj From 1930s India to fighting the Japanese in Burma The last word from the army familiar to Kipling 'This excellent book ... can only make you wonder at the sheer guts and determination that they must have had to overcome the Japs, stifling heat, monsoons, jungle and disease.' The British Army Review

Bill was interviewed for CHOICE MAGAZINE and the BLACKPOOL GAZETTE, and alsoon BFBS radio, GARRISON radio, BBC RADIO LANCASHIRE and BBC RADIO LINCOLNSHIRE The Penningtons also went to Blackpool for the Burma Star reunion, and Waterstones were on hand to sell books. Reviews planned so far include: DAILY TELEGRAPH (date tbc), BRITISH ARMY REVIEW, CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, SOTTISH LEGIONSMAGAZINE, MILITARY ILLUSTRATED, BATTLEFIELDS MAGAZINE, BBC Radio Clyde 'Whendescribing his own experiences, Pennington can be a vivid witness to the everyday racism of the relationship between the British and Indians and to the brutality of the Burma campaign. He's also surprisingly free of rose-tinted retrospection.'SUNDAY TIMES (27 July) ''fascinating reminiscences of [a] vanished world...Plenty of officer-level views of British India such as The Jewel In The Crown are on offer, but this is the view from the lowest ranks and all the more valuable for that.'Peter Lewis, THE DAILY MAIL (1 August) 'a fascinating portrayal of the dying days of the Raj.'LIVING HISTORY MAGAZINE (August 2003) ''[a] compelling memoir.'SOLDIER MAGAZINE 'As a memoir, this volume is also a valuable history lesson offering historians of the Raj a glimpse from a frontline participant.'CANADA POST 'This superb book is a wonderful insightinto military life in peace and combat...a superb account of the last days of the Raj and the chaos of post-war Germany. Certainly not a book to be missed.'MILITARY BOOKS IN PERSPECTIVE

Fourteen-year-old Bill Pennington enlisted in the British Army as a trumpeter in the 1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. At fifteen, he was on active service on the North-West Frontier. After serving in India, France, Belgium, Burma, Germany and England, he was demobbed in 1946. He married Enid in 1946 and emigrated to Canada in 1951, where he lives to this day. He started writing this book at the age of seventy-seven.