Jim Kerr, ex Prisoner-of War, Burma-Thailand Railway video

Running time
1 min 20 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Jim Kerr, now 94 talks about his experience as a prisoner-of-war by the Japanese in the Second World War.


I was 15 when I enlisted and I was gunner in the 4th tank regiment.

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 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.

I wouldn't know how many, but a lot of men lost legs because of ulcers. And there was no treatment.

The Japanese never supplied any treatment for that sort of thing, so the doctors had to improvise with what they could.

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