Sir John Carrick (1)

‘And then they tell me I mustn’t attempt to escape, because it will have an effect on those who are around me.’

17 July 2020

Today we remember Sir John Carrick, who served his country — first in uniform, and then in the Federal Parliament. He was taken prisoner of war (POW) by the Japanese and held forthree-and-a-half years. At times, his biggest fight was with his own demons.

Sir John Carrick — And then they tell me I mustn’t attempt to escape, because it will have an effect on those who are around me.

Sir John Carrick audio file (MP4 23.88 MB)

Sir John Carrick 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 Sir John Carrick, who served his country — first in uniform, and then in the Federal Parliament.

He was taken POW by the Japanese, where he spent three-and-a-half years including time on the infamous Hellfire Pass section of the Burma-Thailand Railroad. At times, his biggest fight was with his own demons.

Sir John Carrick

When you’re in Timor, and you’re only a few hundred miles away from your mainland, and you suddenly realise that you’ve failed, that all of you have failed. That the enemy is getting to your mainland, you are being surrendered. It’s a tremendous emotional thing for everybody — a sense of shame. I’ve failed! What are my people going to think? We’ve failed altogether to do it. Are they going to attack my country? Are they going to invade my country? And then they tell me I mustn’t attempt to escape, because it will have an effect on those who are around me. I’ve got to stay with my troops and look after them - everything foreign to what any soldier has ever known. So the adjustment period early on, is very, very difficult.

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.

Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling provides free and confidential support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Help is available 24/7 on 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit OpenArms.gov.au