Audio commentaries

Recollections of Japanese treatment

Edward 'Weary' Dunlop

Lieutenant-Colonel E.E. ‘Weary’ Dunlop*, one of 44 Australian doctors on the Burma-Thailand railway, was renowned for his untiring efforts to care for the sick. In this audio interview ‘Weary’ Dunlop recalls his ongoing battle with the Japanese works boss in the camp who would force prisoners to work on the railway although they were very seriously ill. He also describes how these prisoners were subject to abuse and how Dunlop and the prisoners would sometimes succeed in countering this brutality.

More about Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop

Stan Arneil

Stan Arneil was a sergeant in the 2/30th Battalion and a member of F Force when he became a prisoner of the Japanese at Singapore. In this audio interview he recollects an experience where an officer forced an unconscious, almost dead prisoner to be carried by other prisoners to attend a roll call by which time he was dead.

More about illness and death on the railway

Audio file

Doctor Rowley Richards

Dr Rowley Richards was a doctor with Australian prisoners in Burma (now Myanmar) who helped save the lives of many POWs. Having been initially imprisoned in Singapore, and then sent to work on the railway, he later became a slave labourer in Japan. In this audio interview Dr Richards discusses the hierarchical honour based culture of the Japanese that led to ritualised brutality with prisoners considered as dishonourable and the lowest of the low in a chain of command.

More about the treatment of prisoners


Last updated: 12 March 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Audio commentaries, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 4 December 2020, http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/burma-thailand-railway-and-hellfire-pass-1942-1943/resources/audio-commentaries
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