Facebook X YouTube Instagram Pinterest NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

In the Shadow of Death (Paperback)

The Story of a Medic on the Burma Railway, 1942–45

Military > Prisoners of War WWII

By Idris James Barwick
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 304
Illustrations: 32 photos
ISBN: 9781399014427
Published: 16th December 2021



You'll be £14.99 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase In the Shadow of Death. What's this?
+£4.50 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £40
(click here for international delivery rates)

Order within the next 7 hours, 58 minutes to get your order processed the next working day!

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

Idris (Taff) James was a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps and one of the thousands of young British soldiers taken prisoner by the Japanese in early 1942. He was ordered to become a medic by his Company Commander, who must have been a very shrewd judge of character. His account of the conditions and suffering endured by his fellow prisoners and himself makes for the most extraordinary and disturbing reading.Taff suffered from dysentery, malaria, beri beri and cholera but, unlike so many, he survived.His description of the courage of his fellow captives and, regrettably, the failings of some in authority, give grounds for serious thought. If you only read one book by a POW of the Japanese, this is the one.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Mr. Barwick and Pen and Sword publishers remind us of the brutality of the Imperial Japanese Army and state. I am from one of those far-flung places occupied by the 1940s Japanese Empire and this does the stories of tragedy and brutality as well as human endurance justice. Read this book.


This is a horrendous story of mans' inhumanity to man, and being written in 1946 the memories were very fresh in his mind, which comes across very much in the book. Written by the author to get rid of some bad nightmares this is a tale of courage under exceptional circumstances lasting years.

5 out of 5 Mr Mushroomheads for an excellent and humbling book.

Read the full review here

ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I recommend the book for history and memoir lovers. The cover hides stories of human tragedies and human kindness, making the book an unforgettable read.

NetGalley, Darya Silman

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Those intrigued by WWII who seek a different perspective, please do read this book. The information is astounding and the photographs fascinating, some haunting. The map in the front really helped as this is an area I am sadly unfamiliar with.

NetGalley, Brenda Carleton

I defy anyone not to be moved by this book and it is one that I would recommend to anyone who has any interest in this part of the War.

NetGalley, Hazel Howorth

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

We should never forget what this men suffered and how they fought for their lives at this terrible time. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

NetGalley, Alayne Emmett

About Idris James Barwick

Idris Barwick survived the War and went on to enjoy a long life in his native Wales. He died in 2000. His daughter Elizabeth Garland has been instrumental in bringing this book to our notice.

Other titles in Pen & Sword Military...