Today we remember Don McInnes, who was taken prisoner of war by the Japanese. One memory that he will never forget is his homecoming after the war.
Don McInnes audio script
75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War
“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 Don McInnes, one of 22,000 Australians taken POW by the Japanese.
He survived that shocking ordeal, including working on the infamous Hellfire Pass section of the Burma-Thailand Railroad. But the thing that he remembers best is his homecoming after the war.
None of us expected any particular reception. But when we came through the Heads, the Harbour was choc-a-block with warships — all the American ships and the British fleet back from the surrender ceremonies in Japan. And from the Heads, all the way down, almost to the Harbour Bridge, were naval ships on both sides. Well as we steamed slowly along, all the sailors on every ship … they were spaced out … and they took their caps off and they gave us three cheers. Like, I can’t describe it without getting that way — because everyone, we were so choked-up with emotion that we couldn’t give a cheer back. Never expected it.
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.