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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Griff Rhys Jones in Burma

Yesterday I watched "Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army", on BBC2.

Griff's father served in Burma in 1944/45. He qualified as a doctor in Wales, enlisted and posted to the 82nd African Infantry Division in the Gold Coast, now Ghana. From there, the division was posted to Burma where it participated in the fighting against Japanese forces, fighting alongside Indian, Ghurka and British troops.

Griff travelled to Ghana where he met several surviving members of the division, buddied up with one of them and the two of them travelled to Burma, where they visited some of the fighting areas.

This was a really interesting programme. I did not know African young men had been trained and shipped to the Far East to fight for us, partially because someone in Whitehall thought both Ghana and Burma have jungles, so the men would have no trouble acclimatising. This show has shown to me, yet again, just how much there is to learn about World War 2.

I recommend this programme. It was quite easy to watch, the location work was very illuminating, there was a good choice of historical film, Griff was very good guide and raconteur with a good hat. If you can see it, it will be on BBC I-Player for some time.

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