Onscreen text: 1 Million Australians enlisted to serve in the Second World War. Father John Brendan Rogers was one of them.
He was taken P.O.W by the Japanese and was lucky to survive.
After war’s end, he was stopped in the street by a young woman, looking for news of her brothers…
Father John Brendan Rogers: She said, my two brothers were in 2/15th Regiment. And she said, “We've not heard anything about them”.
“Well”, I said, “your name?” And she told me something … “Nicholson”. I said, “Well, one Gerry and the other John?” She said, “That's correct”.
And I said: “They were both with me in Sandakan. And when I had to leave there, kicked out by the Japs, they were there. And what’s more, Gerry was my batman.
“Well, what's happened to them?” I said, “They're both dead”. And of course, it was traumatic for her. She burst into tears, and I think I did too.
And I think that was the thing that has impressed itself more on my mind than anything else. They’d never heard a thing, and this is … the war was over and done with. We were all home, and they're looking for their brothers.
Father John Brendan Rogers, 1914 –2001.