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|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||256 pp (hardback edition)|
|Preceded by||This Time Next Week (1964)|
|Followed by||Orange Wednesday (1967)|
The Virgin Soldiers is a 1966 comic novel by Leslie Thomas, inspired by his own experiences of National Service in the British Army.It was Thomas' debut novel; he had previously published an autobiography. The Virgin Soldiers sold millions of copies during the author´s lifetime.
A comic novel is a novel-length work of humorous fiction. Many well-known authors have written comic novels, including P. G. Wodehouse, Henry Fielding, Mark Twain, and John Kennedy Toole.
Leslie Thomas, OBE was a Welsh author best known for his comic novel The Virgin Soldiers.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
The core of the plot is the romantic triangle formed by the protagonist, a conscript soldier named Private Brigg; a worldly professional soldier named Sergeant Driscoll and Phillipa Raskin, the daughter of the Regimental Sergeant Major. The location is a British army base in Singapore during the Malayan Emergency.
Conscription in the United Kingdom has existed for two periods in modern times. The first was from 1916 to 1920, the second from 1939 to 1960, with the last conscripted soldiers leaving the service in 1963. Known as Military Service from 1916 to 1920, the system of conscription from 1939 to 1960 was called National Service, but between 1939 and 1948, it was often referred to as "war service" in documents relating to National Insurance and pension provision.
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in Southeast Asia. The country is situated one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%.
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought in the Federation of Malaya from 1948 until 1960. The conflict was between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military wing of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). The fighting spanned both the colonial period and the creation of an independent Malaysia. Although it was referred to as "The Emergency" by colonial authorities, the MNLA referred to it as the "Anti-British National Liberation War".
Brigg and Phillipa are virgins in every sense of the word; they're both barely out of adolescence. Brigg is fearful of Phillipa's father and hardly dares go near her. He is equally afraid of the Malay and Chinese prostitutes in the nearby city. His only outlet is with his mates in the barracks, who fantasize endlessly about what they might do without actually knowing how to go ahead and do it.
Virginity is the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions that place special value and significance on this state, predominantly towards unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth.
Phillipa is getting more and more rebellious, eventually setting herself up with Sgt. Driscoll as a lover, while she leads Brigg on in the romance department. Brigg finally summons up the courage and the cash to approach a prostitute, called Juicy Lucy by the troops. The encounter starts disastrously but after Lucy realizes Brigg is a virgin, she takes pity on him and begins his education in her own way. This develops into a long-term relationship, at least for Brigg, who she calls affectionately "Bligg". Brigg tries not to think about what Lucy does when he is not with her.
Driscoll is seething with his own inner demons. He keeps taunting a Sgt. Wellbeloved with the phrase "Rusty nails!". Wellbeloved boasts constantly of keeping the Japanese busy during WW2, as a one-man guerilla army. Towards the end of the tale, the secret is revealed: Wellbeloved was a coward, and Rusty Nails was the nickname of the soldier he betrayed to the Japanese. Driscoll beats Wellbeloved to a pulp on behalf of the victim.
The novel crystallizes around violent incidents involving rioting in the city and an attack by Communist guerillas on a train. Several of Brigg's friends are killed. Brigg tries to find Lucy for solace, only to be told she was beaten to death by soldiers. (In the film, the locomotive destroyed was one of the last four used to haul mainline BR steam - the famous Fifteen Guinea Special.) Days before he is to be sent home, he confronts Phillipa with his frustrations, with unexpectedly pleasant results. For Phillipa, however, he is a passing fancy. Her sergeant awaits ...
The 1T57 'Fifteen Guinea Special' was the last main-line passenger train to be hauled by steam locomotive power on British Rail on 11 August 1968 before the introduction of a steam ban that started the following day. It was a special rail tour excursion train organised for the occasion from Liverpool via Manchester to Carlisle and back, and was pulled by four different steam locomotives in turn during the four legs of the journey . This was a special excursion. The last scheduled steam-hauled passenger services ran on 3 August 1968 from Preston.
Eventually Brigg and his remaining friends are about to embark for home. The final scene has them shouting the name of a laundryman, whom Brigg has mistakenly shot in the hand in an earlier episode, a certain Fuk Yew. It symbolizes their relation to Malaya and Malaya to them, when the tailor responds with the appropriate hand signal, using his damaged hand.
The novel was turned into a film in 1969, directed by John Dexter, with a screenplay by the British screenwriter John Hopkins. It starred Hywel Bennett, John Scott, Nigel Patrick and Lynn Redgrave. David Bowie cut his hair short to audition for a role but can only be seen in a brief shot in the finished movie, being pushed out from behind a bar. A sequel, Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers , followed in 1977 with Nigel Davenport repeating his role as Sgt Driscoll.
The Virgin Soldiers is a 1969 British war comedy-drama film directed by John Dexter and starring Lynn Redgrave, Hywel Bennett, Nigel Davenport, Nigel Patrick and Rachel Kempson. It is set in 1950, during the Malayan Emergency, and is based on the novel of the same name by Leslie Thomas.
John Dexter was an English theatre, opera and film director.
A screenplay writer, scriptwriter or scenarist is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which mass media, such as films, television programs and video games, are based.
From Here to Eternity is a 1953 American romantic drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann, and written by Daniel Taradash, based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. The picture deals with the tribulations of three U.S. Army soldiers, played by Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra, stationed on Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed portray the women in their lives, and the supporting cast includes Ernest Borgnine, Philip Ober, Jack Warden, Mickey Shaughnessy, Claude Akins, and George Reeves.
A Canterbury Tale is a 1944 British film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger starring Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price and Sgt. John Sweet; Esmond Knight provided narration and played several small roles. For the postwar American release, Raymond Massey narrated and Kim Hunter was added to the film. The film was made in black and white, and was the first of two collaborations between Powell and Pressburger and cinematographer Erwin Hillier.
Sharpe is a series of historical fiction stories by Bernard Cornwell centered on the character of Richard Sharpe. The stories formed the basis for an ITV television series featuring Sean Bean in the title role.
Easy Company is a fictional comic book World War II US Army infantry unit led by Sgt. Rock in stories published by DC Comics. The group first appeared in Our Army at War #81, and were created by Bob Haney and Ross Andru.
Joy Ride is a 2001 American road horror thriller film directed by John Dahl and written by J. J. Abrams and Clay Tarver. Paul Walker stars as Lewis Thomas, a college freshman embarking on a cross-country road trip during summer break to pick up his girlfriend Venna. Along for the ride is Lewis' brother Fuller, a practical joker who uses the car's CB radio to play a cruel prank on a lonely trucker known only by the handle Rusty Nail. The victim of Fuller's gag, a psychotic murderer, pursues them relentlessly to get revenge at any cost.
Pigs Have Wings is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, which first appeared as a serial in Collier's Weekly between 16 August and 20 September 1952. It was first published as a book in the United States on 16 October 1952 by Doubleday & Company, New York, and in the United Kingdom on 31 October 1952 by Herbert Jenkins, London. It is the seventh novel set at Blandings Castle.
Caught in the Draft is a 1941 comedy/war film with Bob Hope directed by David Butler.
Sharpe's Challenge is a British TV film from 2006, usually shown in two parts, which is part of an ITV series based on Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction novels about the English soldier Richard Sharpe during the Napoleonic Wars. Contrary to most parts of the TV series, Sharpe's Challenge, as well as the follow-up Sharpe's Peril, isn't based entirely on one of Cornwell's novels, but it uses and adapts some characters and storylines from Sharpe's Tiger. Both are set in 1817, two years after Sharpe has retired as a farmer in Normandy, so chronologically they come after Sharpe's Waterloo (1815) and before the final novel Sharpe's Devil (1820–21). Some of the events in the film are, however, inspired by events in the first three novels of the series. In Sharpe's Challenge and Sharpe's Peril, Sharpe and his comrade in arms, Patrick Harper, have been temporarily called out of retirement and asked to go to India.
Legend of the Patriots is a remake of the 1975 South Korean drama Comrades. Its production was spawned to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. The story centers around the lives of eleven Korean soldiers fighting in the Korean War. Director Kim Sang-hwi remarked that the series is not about the ideologies of South and North Korea, but rather focuses on the struggles of ordinary people who lived through the war.
Act of Love is a 1953 American romantic drama film directed by Anatole Litvak, starring Kirk Douglas and Dany Robin. It is based on the novel The Girl on the Via Flaminia by Alfred Hayes. A Parisian falls in love with an American soldier near the end of World War II.
A Town Like Alice is a 1956 British drama film produced by Joseph Janni and starring Virginia McKenna and Peter Finch that is based on the 1950 novel by Nevil Shute. The film does not follow the whole novel, concluding at the end of Part Two and truncating or omitting much detail. It was partially filmed in Malaya and Australia.
Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers is a 1977 British film directed by Norman Cohen and starring Robin Askwith and Nigel Davenport. It is a sequel to The Virgin Soldiers (1969). The screenplay was written by Leslie Thomas based on his 1975 novel of the same name.
From Here to Eternity is a 1979 American three-part, six-hour television miniseries and a remake of the 1953 film From Here to Eternity based on the 1951 novel of the same name. All three conclude with the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. The miniseries originally aired in three two-hour installments on three consecutive Wednesdays on NBC on February 14, 21 and 28, 1979.
The 1953 Coronation Honours were appointments by Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours on the occasion of her coronation on 2 June 1953. The honours were published in The London Gazette on 1 June 1953.
The New Year Honours 1954 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. They were announced on 1 January 1954 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1954.
The New Year Honours 1955 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. They were announced on 1 January 1955 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1955.
The New Year Honours 1957 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. They were announced in supplements to the London Gazette of 28 December 1956 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1957.
The Queen's Birthday Honours 1952 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of The Queen, and were published in supplements the London Gazette on 30 May 1952 for the United Kingdom and Colonies, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, and Pakistan.