Series 2011 - World War Two's Luckiest Man: Revealed

Alistair Urquhart

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Ninety-one-year-old Alistair Urquhart reveals for the first time the astonishing story of how he survived World War II.

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Comments (35)

  • Sheila

    over 1 year ago

    Sheila

    A remarkable gentleman whose courage, spirit and determination are an inspiration. You are indeed a winner, who will never be forgotten. Wishing you many many happy dancing hours.

  • Amanda Benfield

    over 2 years ago

    Amanda Benfield

    I had the great pleasure of meeting Alistar and taking him to the USS Pampanito ( one of the Subs that sank his Jap POW carrier) of course not knowing that there were POWs inside it. He is a great man, full of pride and spirit. there are only a handful of men still alive that worked on the pampanito during that time and Alistar shook their hands and smiled while he met them. What an experience!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dorothy and Jack Hobbs Canada

    over 2 years ago

    Dorothy and Jack Hobbs Canada

    I took your advice and danced at Katie and Gavin's wedding. Love to you and your dance partner.

  • Frances Burley

    over 2 years ago

    Frances Burley

    Dear Alistair you are a very remarkable man,My dad fought in the Burma war,He was in the famous daggers.I am convinced my dad was given the same form to sign.Would you be able to comfirm this for me?

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  • carol shenton

    over 2 years ago

    carol shenton

    Thank you Alistar, My uncle also was in the same place, and never spoke of it. He always looked a haunted man, always wished he could unburden himself. You have now given me an insight as to what he experienced and survived, but also a possible reason why he couldn't speak.

  • PhilT

    over 2 years ago

    PhilT

    iain9876 After Nagasaki my father was taken out of there by USS chenango CVE to yokohama then on to Canada on HMS Implacable they travelled right across canada stopping off many places along the way I have a telegram my Dad sent to his mum from there they went across atlantic on the ille de France liner to southhampton they always said that the reason for a slow trip bacl was that they would not survive the long trip as they were all in bad shape a friend of my family at that time told my grannie that he was not sure if my Dad would make it back they were that bad, give me your e-mail so I can contact you further?

  • Bill Ripper

    over 2 years ago

    Bill Ripper

    My uncle who is now a very fighting fit 94 went through most of what Alistair suffered apart from the topedoed ship and Nagasaki. He was part of the expeditionary force sent to France, was evacuated from Dunkirk and ended up being sent to Singapore by mistake. He often says he doesn't know or why he survived when many of his friends died on the Burma Road. We took him back to singapore and Changi to lay a few ghosts but was quite distressing for him. He never ever spoke of his time in captivity whilst his wife was alive. One thing he had in common with Alistair apart from surviving, he is a good dancer. Hero's every one of them.

  • Sally

    over 2 years ago

    Sally

    what a truly remarkable man......

  • Duncan Rothney

    over 2 years ago

    Duncan Rothney

    This man served in the 2nd Bn Gordon Highanders along side my Grandad and his cousin. My Grandad survived captivity but died young. His cousin was killed during the fall of singapore. To the many thousands who never made it home, you will never be forgotten. Bydand forever!

  • Cara-Louise

    over 2 years ago

    Cara-Louise

    My great great uncle was in world war two also and was a prisoner of war in the japanese camp. He is still alive too and turned 97 years of age this year!! He too would have many a great and interesting tales of how he survived the camp and made it home and to this date is still here with us!

  • Phil R

    over 2 years ago

    Phil R

    My cousin wrote a diary about his experiences while he was a red cap at dunkirk. His officer saw it and made him tear it up in front of him and told my cousin never to speak of his experiences

  • iain9876

    over 2 years ago

    iain9876

    Phil, he did say in his book that he, and the others, were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. He also says he felt, at the time, that he and the other POW's were taken to America to recuperate before being shipped back to the UK, was to hide the atrocities the japanese had inflicted on the allied servicemen....atrocities on this scale you simply can't contain, hence the numerous accounts we know of today. I can see why he felt this from his point of view, having gone through what he experienced .. Why didn't they just take him, and the others straight back to the UK from Japan? No wonder he felt like the forgotten Highlander!

  • iain9876

    over 2 years ago

    iain9876

    A true Hero, I find it very sad that the british government should snake their way out of giving this man his disability pension from active service.....something they, in their slippery ways did to so many servicemen at that time. I think you would call it "austerity measures" today!

  • Wendy Weedon

    over 2 years ago

    Wendy Weedon

    You are an amazing man, your experiences should never be forgotten. I will certainly remember seeing your life story and thank you for your beautiful spirit.

  • chore593

    over 2 years ago

    chore593

    Chore 593 I served in Northern Ireland and the Falklands war, the account of what i have just seen and heard is in another sphere of warfare. What a brave man and all who served with him at that dreadful time, You are a credit to youself, family and all the British people for the brave service you did for this country in unbelieveable conditions and theaters of the world during world war two

  • Tyler Anderson

    over 2 years ago

    Tyler Anderson

    I met Alistair Urquhart at the Gordon Barracks where he trained about 8 weeks ago and after him giving a speech went and bought his book instantly this programme has been very good but could of had so much more in it but all together top marks incredible man and incredible story

  • PhilT

    over 2 years ago

    PhilT

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF-Tast2Ua8

  • PhilT

    over 2 years ago

    PhilT

    Mark oh yes sorry I was typing quickly no I am not saying he is making it up at all I am saying maybe the Programme makers may have put that in. I have not read the book so it may differ?

  • jessie

    over 2 years ago

    jessie

    this is an amazing programme..i give my upmost honour to alistar..people like you are what once made this country. i feel for all members of the armed forces as i have a long line of family history within the armed forces, with sadly my older brother of 18 going to fight in the war friday..so its an emotional subject.. either way alistar it is a delight at the same time as a heart breaker of a story but god bless you.x

  • mark

    over 2 years ago

    mark

    Well Phil T , im sure he aint making it up if thats what your implying and its Geoffrey Blain not david.. David Blaine is an illusionist

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  • Phil T

    over 2 years ago

    Phil T

    My father was in Nagasaki Fukuoka camp 2b koyagi shima worked for 3yrs as a riveter in the docks I was disappointed that Alistair did not speak more on his camp in nagasaki. My Dad died in 1972 aged 52 for the 18yrs i knew him he did speak in small bits and pieces and I still remember what he said I have never heard of the men being forbidden to talk on what they saw thats new to me, as several have written books about nagasaki down the years. Huryo by david blaine is one book.

  • Thelma Marshall

    over 2 years ago

    Thelma Marshall

    I have just finished watching this moving story.My uncle Pte.Scott McGregor(Gordon Highlander,Strathdon,Aberdeenshire) was there,so,although i never met him,i felt very emotional to see what him,and all the other heroes went through!!Thankyou,Alistair,for giving us an insight to what really went on...... I am in "awe" of you....my heart is full of admiration for you.....and god bless those poor souls who never made it home.....My uncle Scott included....I`m off to buy your book....Thankyou channel 5 also,for airing this programme.

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  • Stephen Buxton

    over 2 years ago

    Stephen Buxton

    At 0.08, there is a line of POWs being led out. The fourth from the left, just behind the shortest in the line, is my Grandad, Fred Want, who passed away about 20 or so years ago. He never spoke about his time as a POW. Looking here, I can understand why.

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  • karen graves

    over 2 years ago

    karen graves

    my husbands dad was japanise p.o.w. and on the burmah railroad , the ship he was on was torpedoed and he was left in the water for three day ,he also was picked up by the japanise and taken to shangi , then after the war ended he was taken to australia then N Z to recuperate ufortunatly my husbands father died very young,49yrs old , so my heart goes out to you my husband knows all to well the sufering, as his father left a diary of events , not for the faint hearted , well done for speaking out , god bless you x

  • Ruth

    over 2 years ago

    Ruth

    My 12 year old son and i are watching this amazing programme. Alistair...you are a TRUE hero

  • Fmac

    over 2 years ago

    Fmac

    I have read his book and am enjoying the tv program ... it would just be really nice if the narrator could have taken the time to pronounce his name properly

  • Paul D

    over 2 years ago

    Paul D

    I have a web site/blog that includes the personal account of Robbie who defended the docks at Singapore against Japanese air attacks. He was later captured in Java later. http://someww2memories.wordpress.com/ He was also lucky to survive and eventually returned home. He passed away in 1997.

  • Harry Duncan

    over 2 years ago

    Harry Duncan

    I sit with Alistair at the ballroom danceing and what a lovely man the Brittish goverment shoud decorate this man with the highst houner possible

  • lisa

    over 2 years ago

    lisa

    An amazing man, who deserves the utmost respect. Alistair is a true hero.

  • David Mercer

    over 2 years ago

    David Mercer

    Having read Mr Urquhart's incredible autobiography, I would suggest the title for your programme should be World War Two's UNluckiest man.

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