James Kerr - Weight and malaria

Running time
1 min 56 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


You could pick out a bunch of fellows and go "Oh, gee", but they probably hadn't suffered as much as the others. But for some reason, there's one particular photograph they show every time when they talk about camps. It's that six blokes just virtually skeletons walking with their lap laps and they bring that, just like they do with Belsen, of one particular fellow, when they bring that out.

But some fellows, depending, some fellows worked in the cookhouse. Well, if you're in the cookhouse, of course you're getting a little bit more to eat than the other fellows. The Japs always had a few of them blokes helping their cookhouses…I don't know what I weighed when I came home, when I was released, but I've kept myself in reasonable condition, I think.

Of course, waking up with malaria, there's, unfortunately, no treatment. You just lay there, and you feel terrible and you get the shivers and you're sweating and you're hot. And you certainly don't feel like eating. Your mates would get to your rice and share that amongst themselves, and then they got malaria, which we all did after you share that rice around. But 4 or 5 days you'll be out of it. I think I had malaria about 20 times, I think. But that really knocked you. No treatment, so you just lay on the bamboo slat and shiver and sweat all over until you got over it

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