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A Long Way Home

One POW's story of escape and evasion during World War II

(9 customer reviews)
Authors: Charles Granquist

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“This was the generation which grew up in the depression, then fought through a six-year global conflict and then had to build much of Australia. Their decline in numbers places an even greater onus on younger Australians to understand what they went through”. RSL National President Bill Crews 2009

The son of a World War I veteran, Charles Granquist was 17 when war was declared with Germany in 1939. He lied about his age, joined the infantry and was sent to Egypt. Like so many other young men at the time, Granquist did not know what to expect. All he really cared about was doing his duty and serving his country. He never even contemplated his chances of becoming a prisoner of war – he was there to fight and take prisoners.

Captured by the Germans in Greece, Granquist was determined to continue carrying the war to his captors “any way I could”. In his memoir, A Long Way Home, he describes his shame at becoming a POW and how he believed he had failed himself, his mates and as a soldier.

He orchestrated a remarkable five escape attempts, all of which ended unsuccessfully. Yet Charles refused to give up, determined to fulfil his duty as an Aussie Digger and make his own small contribution to the war effort. His story takes the reader on the rollercoaster of escape, recapture and 196 days of solitary confinement before his eventual return home with his Russian war bride.

Granquist’s account of his wartime experiences adds another important chapter to the story of Australian World War II POWs, while showcasing the spirit, humour, persistence and ingenuity expected of an Aussie Digger. A Long Way Home is tribute to one veteran’s spirit and the mateship he still holds so dear today.

Charles Granquist

Charles Granquist

For 92 year old author and WW2 POW, Charles Granquist, his experiences as a POW in Germany provide him with a perspective on our future that is drawn from seeing the horror of war and a true respect for how extremely lucky we are.  The need to look to our future and the preservation of […]

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9 reviews for A Long Way Home

  1. THOUSANDS of books have been written from the stories generated by Australian soldiers who served in World War II. But there always seems to be one more worthwhile story to tell. This one is the tale of Charles Granquist… Troy Lennon, Daily Telegraph, by the book,

  2. Charles Grandquist’s remarkable story of his service in World War II. He was a Rat of Tobruk, serving in North Africa and Greece, where he was captured by Germans. There followed five attempted escapes from prisoner-of-war camps. A great story by this old soldier.

  3. This is a great book and I thoroughly recommend it. I picked it up on a Sunday morning, intending to read just a few chapters before mowing my lawn…………well… that was a mistake. I literally couldn’t put it down. The lawn can wait !

  4. Like many stories emerging from the second world war the tenacity and bravery is hard to believe especially in the face of cruelty, evil and death which often prevailed during the five years of war.

  5. Brings home the things our grandparents went through, looking at the world today, I sometimes wonder if they would do the same again?

  6. Having served in the jungles of the Far East for three years this book took me back and brought home my personal experiences and the horrors of those who went before me albeit not so long ago.

  7. There are no stunning revelations in Granquist’s first class personal memoir of his war in North Africa & Greece, no great feats of individual heroism, but, nevertheless, it is an important record of an ordinary Aussie infantryman. The book does not engage in hyperbole, it simply records the stoic and generous manner in which his war was endured. The author tells of his shrapnel wound in a wonderfully understated matter of fact manner. It is a well written book, enjoyable in itself & successive generations will look back with appreciation. The war of such individually extraordinary men told in their own voices are important for us all, so we don’t forget what they did, they way they did it and how they felt about it.

  8. Books like this, put our lives into perspective. The acts of bravery while serving their country in battle is magnificent. All I can say is thank you. Started to read this book before going to sleep, was still up reading 5 hours later!!

  9. A very good story of courage and endurance. I found it very easy to read and recommend it to anyone who enjoys war history
    Monk – booktopia

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