Troubador Front Line and Fortitude

Released: 28/02/2019

ISBN: 9781789016437

Format: Paperback

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Front Line and Fortitude

Memoirs of a Wasbie with the ‘Forgotten Army’


During the Second World War, one of the largest British Commonwealth armies ever assembled fought the Japanese in South East Asia, first on the border between what was then British India and Burma and then pushing deeper into Burma itself. Supporting the Fourteenth Army were an intrepid group of women known colloquially as the Wasbies – the Women’s Auxilliary Service (Burma) or WAS(B).

This is the story of how Maria Pilbrow faced menace and heartbreak yet coped with fortitude and determination. In the course of her life she overcame loss, anguish, danger and desperation. She survived the jungle horrors and, after the war ended, again found love and the security she craved only to have them ripped away once more. She was forced to rebuild her life anew which she achieved with the friendship and support of her Wasbie friends.

Astonishingly, there is very little information about the work of the Wasbies and no full-length book has been written which gives an account of their exploits – until now. For the first time in book form Front Line and Fortitude provides a personal record of these brave women and their magnificent contribution to the war effort. The book is based on and expanded from Maria Pilbrow's original diary, and her niece, Elizabeth Lockhart-Mure discovered her diary after Maria's death, and told this extraordinary story. 

Talk and book signing at National Army Museum, Chelsea, London - 11.30 am Friday, 15th Much 2019

Joanna Lumley reviewed the book: she says, "It is a marvellous book - a revelation and a fascinating glimpse into another braver, finer world".....


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E. J. Lockhart-Mure

Elizabeth Lockhart-Mure grew up on a farm in Kenya with a love of Africa and the wild. Circumstances, however, led her to emigrate in 1979, and she then set up her own business in the field of aviation. Upon her retirement, Elizabeth took up writing with a view to bringing this compelling story into the public domain.

The book is based on and expanded from the original diary and notes of Maria Pilbrow, who was with the Women's Auxiliary Services (Burma), colloquially known as the ' Wasbies ' during the Burma Campaign of World War Two. Elizabeth Lockhart-Mure discovered the diary, notes, photographs and medals after Maria's death, which compelled her to write this extraordinary story.

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