Hell Fire Pass ~ Kanchanaburi Province-Thailand ~ Dedicated to the Aussie POW’s who worked and died on the Thai Burma Railway. Many men suffered under horrendous conditions whilst held as Pows. One man though a doctor named ‘Weary Dunlop’ worked tirelessly to keep his men safe and often performed surgery on them in the camps no matter how unhygienic the conditions were. Because of this he was also recognised for his initiative in surgical practises later on in life when he returned home. Many men were tourtured, starved and endlessly worked to create the railway. This area was known as hellfire pass because of the fire lanterns at night lit up the area as men toiled by hand to carve out the rock using the hammer and tap method.
Historical records indicate that the men thought they were in hell as the fires burned above them lighting the broken and emaciated men before them as the Japanese guards beat them to go quicker in a period known or referred to as ‘speedo’. This is an extraordinary memorial to visit. I have never been so overwhelmed as I educated myself on the story that was HellFire Pass. Weary Dunlop has since passed after eventually returning to Australia and becoming a well known and respected Doctor after the war. His ashes however are scattered here in this foreign land. Probably so he could be with the men he couldn’t save back then. Thank God were in peacetime now and our relationship between Australia is now well respected . Through those sacrifices of those men and women who have ever served in any war I personally thank you.
Lest We Forget