James Kerr - Burma-Thailand Railway

Running time
1 min 16 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


It was 415 kilometres in length. It took 15 months to build. There were 60,000 prisoners of war working on the Burma-Thailand railway. 16,000 died, and 2600 of those were Australian. I estimate, there's no atomic estimate because nobody can estimate how many natives were recruited from Java or Malaya. Brought them up there, I reckon over 100,000 died.

There's no known graves for them, they just fell to the waist side. There weren't any known graves. They estimate over 100,000. Of the 60,000 POWs that worked on the line, 16,000 died. They were the ones who brought cholera up through the camps as they came up, they had cholera amongst them, so every camp they'd pass through they left the cholera germ behind. That's a terrible death. You lose all your body fluids. Terrible death.

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