Today we remember Tom Uren, a prisoner of war of the Japanese. Tom shares how Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop, particularly his leadership, had a big influence on his life.
Tom Uren 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 Tom Uren, a prisoner of war of the Japanese for three-and-a-half years.
Sometimes things come out of war that forever change how a person thinks and acts. It happened to Tom as a consequence of his association with legendary POW camp doctor, Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop.
Probably the great impact on my life was Dunlop, particularly Dunlop’s leadership. Not only was he a great doctor, but what he did — under the Geneva Convention, they paid our officers and medical orderlies a small amount of money. They also paid men who went out to work a small wage.
And what Weary did, he collectivised that income of all the officers and all the men, all put into a central fund. And we worked by the principle of the strong looking after the weak, and the young looking after the old, and the fit looking after the sick. He then sent people out to trade with the Thai and Chinese traders and to look after the sick and the needy.
And I’ve always said that on one side, the law of the jungle prevailed; on this other side was this collective spirit of Dunlop. It’s had a big influence in my life.
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.