Historian Dr. Richard Duckett backs the Forgotten Allies campaign
We're not allowed to have favourites amongst our supporters, but author and historian Dr. Richard Duckett is certainly testing our neutrality. Richard's brilliant book - The Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Burma: Jungle Warfare & Intelligence Gathering in WW2 - which built on his PHD research, is a valuable and unique contribution to the historical analysis of the war. The book was just the start, however. Alongside his teaching responsibilities, he is working tirelessly to record the details of every single SOE serviceman who fought in Burma from 1941-45. You can see his progress on his website here.
Richard was in Burma while we were filming Forgotten Allies, and he had this to say about the project:
The team at Grammar Productions have done something really special here, something that so overdue that they only just managed it. The march of time means that almost on a daily basis, there are fewer veterans of the Second World War with us than yesterday. Searching out these veterans in Burma and recording their experiences is, to me at least - and hopefully for many others besides - a really important addition to the historical record.
That they have managed to make this film at all is testament to a fantastic inner drive which has seen the team at Grammar create an impressive network of contacts to facilitate this project’s goals, enabling them to travel the length and breadth of Burma to find Britain’s ‘Forgotten Allies’ so we can hear their voice before it’s too late.
Burma’s Second World War history is still very much on the periphery despite the international spotlight on current crises and some excellent work by historians in recent years. Additionally, in a time when the British Empire is regularly the subject of impassioned debate in the British national press, and when the voices of ‘marginalised’ peoples of both the world wars are gaining ever more currency in academia, this film will surely contribute much to the conversation.
Having met the guys in Burma last November, I know they have been meticulous in their research and wholly professional in their endeavours, and I wish the film every success in bringing much deserved attention to the role of all the Burmese races who sacrificed so much during the Second World War.
Find out more about how to support the Forgotten Allies project here.