Fife author sharing his memories of World War Two

Hamish Brown
Hamish Brown

A Fife author and editor has published a book based on his memories of the outbreak of the Second World War.

Hamish Brown’s East of West, West of East is the true story of the Brown family, caught living in Japan as the conflict broke out in the Pacific.

It includes letters home to Scotland, journal extracts and notes from Hamish’s parents, as well as his own recollections.

“My father was a banker for the Standard Bank of India, Australia and China, so he had been posted there,” he said.

“He had actually been on the front line during WWI, was badly injured, was sent back again and was then captured.

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“Most of the things I’ve written about I’ve been involved with one way or another.

“I was rummaging and found that I had a pile of letters from my mother from 1939-42 which had been sent back to Scotland.

“I also had my own memories plus my father’s report on escaping Singapore the day before it fell, and all his adventures after that. My father made sure we got out in 1941, but he was left behind.

“My parents had actually climbed Mount Fuji on the day the war broke out, so being a professional mountaineer I can claim that as my origin! We were an unusual family I suppose! So I decided to put all these things together in this book. And as I say in it, these are old memories which are becoming history.”

The Burntisland-based 84-year-old is now planning a follow-up to his previous book, the acclaimed Walking The Song, saying: “I’ve got lots of bits left over from the previous one to use up!”