Roy Cornford - News on the Burma-Thailand Railway

Running time
2 min
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Roy Cornford:
Well, I think everyone expected to survive because we used to, in them days, we used to have wirelesses and get news. And we'd hear how the war was going on in Europe. But we realised that the war in Europe had to be won first before they could do much here because we used to get all the Japanese news and Japanese newspapers given to us. And they would tell us what they had captured here.

And of course they would exaggerate everything, but we knew that they were bombing Darwin and places like that. We realized it was going to take at least a couple of years, which it took a lot longer actually. But the suffering and the scrounging and what you had to do to keep survive kept you pretty busy.

Speaker 2:
What was your state of health by this time?

Roy Cornford:
Well halfway through the Burma Railway, I think I got malaria. And you used to be sick for seven days, and then you would probably go to work again. And you'd work for seven or eight days and next thing, you'd get down with another attack of malaria. I had 34 attacks of malaria while I was a prisoner of war. Actually 32 because I had two after I came home.

While I was in the American hospital, they treated us with all these different pills and things. And they practically cured us of it. I had one mild attack while I was on leave when I first come home, and I had one more attack after I was working. And since then, I've never had one. Actually I can say I've had pretty good health since then.

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