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New Book Release

Philip Stibbe's Return via Rangoon
29 Sep 2023

Pen and Sword Military books this summer re-released Philip Stibbe's book written after the Second World War to co-incide with the 80th anniversary of the first Chindit expedition. More details about the book titled Return via Rangoon from the publisher below.

This is a young officer's story about training and fighting behind enemy lines in the Burmese jungle beyond the Chindwin, with Orde Wingate, Bernard Fergusson and fellow Bradfieldian Mike Calvert, on the first Chindit expedition in 1943.

Every Chindit agreed to be left behind if he was wounded.

Beaten up and water-tortured, yet only giving his captors false information, Stibbe was moved around Burma until he was jailed in Rangoon. Reported “Missing Presumed Dead”, Stibbe eventually returned in Autumn 1945 to the same room at Merton College, Oxford that he had left after Dunkirk.

Philip taught at Bradfield College until 1975 and was then Headmaster of Norwich School untill 1984; he died in 1997 from Parkinson's Disease resulting from his prison diet.

"Bravery, in a nutshell, is what the word ‘Chindit’ has come to signify. Orde Wingate and Bernard Fergusson are two of the best-known characters, well captured in Return via Rangoon. But Philip Stibbe captures something much more – the inner strength of the Chindits which lay in its extraordinary combination of ordinary people, be it in the Liverpudlian or Burmese rifleman in the jungle or in prison. The real heroes are unsung, their contribution cumulative, their record that of the whole, their platoon, regiment or brigade."
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Owen (A 51-56)

"The Chindits in Burma's jungle, like the Long Range Desert Group in North Africa, proved how successful disruptive action behind enemy lines can be. Their success also showshow effective Leadership, like Wingate’s and Stirling’s, can motivate ordinary soldiers to achieve extraordinary feats. Today’s Special Forces and the Chindit memorial, outside the Ministry of Defence on The Embankment, remind us daily of this proud heritage dating from the Second World War. So I’m delighted Philip Stibbe’s “Return via Rangoon” - a story of definitive resilience - is being re-published to mark the 80th anniversary of the first Chindit expedition."
The Rt Hon. Ben Wallace - MP Secretary of State for Defence

More recollections about Philip's time at Bradfield here

A link to the publisher is here

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