THE memoirs of a former prisoner of war have been published two years after his death.
Sydney Litherland, who lived in the 1066 area for 17 years prior to his death in 2012, was captured by the Germans during World War II.
The Junak King: Life as a British POW, 1941-45, published by The History Press, documents Sydney’s experiences as a prisoner of war in and around Berlin after he was captured in Crete in 1941 when he was just 21-years-old.
The book captures the brutal reality of day-to-day life in working camps where POWs, mainly young men, were expected to do hard manual labour.
Bridget Corry, Sydney’s daughter, said: “He became known as Lord Junak because of the Polish cigarettes called Junak supplied by the Germans. As he did not smoke, he saved his and when rations were in short supply was able to produce some for his comrades, hence his nickname. He spoke of the hardships they endured, of the lack of socks and shoes. When they wore out most men had one or the other but rarely both in the early days. They had to resort to wrapping their feet in any rags they could find.
Sydney, who lived in Eversfield Place and then Ninfield, was just one of 30,000 soldiers taken prisoner by the Germans when Crete fell in 1941.
B“Initially my father wrote the book for his children and grandchildren. Amanda Helm of Helm Publishing who edited the book with my father, felt it was a fairly unique record of a soldier’s account of life in prisoner of war camps and as such would be of interest to a much wider public. There have been many books written by officers, few among soldiers. It is not an account of derring do and escape and evasion, but of dogged endurance over four long life changing years. He very much felt none of us should forget the sacrifices so many brave men made. I am enormously proud that the book has been published and I know he would be as well,” Bridget said. The book is available from Amazon, The History Press and Waterstones.