Jim Kerr: Anzac Day 2020

Running time
1 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made
Australia
Hear from veterans, their loved ones and those on the home front about their most unforgettable memories of wartime.

Transcript

Intro: Anzac Day 2020, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Mat McLachlan: I'm Mat McLachlan. On Anzac Day, we remember all Australians who have served our country. Jim Kerr was just 15 when he put his age up to enlist for the Second World War. He was one of 22,000 Australians taken Prisoner of War by the Japanese in 1942 to work in labour camps.  Sent to hospital for treatment for malaria, Jim, now aged 95, was privy to the primitive treatment that was available to the POWs.

Jim Kerr: I was next to the ulcer ward. And the treatment in the ulcer ward was, that the orderly would come around in the morning and his treatment was a sharpened spoon. So with a sharpened spoon, he would, scrape away all the bad flesh down to the good flesh, and you could hear these blokes screaming as this orderly was going on his rounds. So, you imagine if you're next in line waiting for this fellow with a sharpened spoon to come down, until finally there was no other action but they'd cut the leg off. But a lot of men lost legs because of ulcers. The Japanese never supplied any treatment for that sort of thing, so the doctors had to improvise with what they could.

Outro: Anzac Day 2020. Lest we forget.

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