Cliff Houghton

‘He knew also, that he was going to die.’

16 June 2020

Today we remember Cliff Houghton. He was part of a medical team that ended up as prisoners-of-war to the Germans. Cliff has some vivid memories of how they cared for the sick and wounded.

Cliff Houghton — He knew also, that he was going to die.

Cliff Houghton audio file (MP4 23.82 MB)

Cliff Houghton audio script

75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War

Audio actuality

“Fellow Citizens, the War is over” — (The Hon J B Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia)

On the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War, Australia Remembers Cliff Houghton, part of a medical team that ended up as prisoners-of-war of the Germans.

He has some vivid memories of how they cared for the sick and wounded.

Cliff Houghton

I remember one patient that came in from Crete — he was an English sergeant and he had gas gangrene of the leg, and he was going to die. I knew that. Anyhow, I got him ready for theatre, and he had to have a leg amputated. The next day he died.

Before he did this, he asked me would I write a letter to his wife, ‘cause he knew also that he was going to die. And that was a very emotional time for me to … I tried to contact his wife when we got to England. It was a terrible thing when they were going to die and they asked you to do something. It was terribly difficult to sit down and write a letter to let them know that their husband died. And whether they ever got the letter would be another thing, because we were captive by that time, and it had to go through the German command. So whether it ever got to her, I don't know.

Saturday, August 15 marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Let’s pay our respects to that amazing generation of Australians.