Research & Articles by Lt. Col. Peter Winstanley OAM RFD (Retired), JP
Research, Interviews and Articles about the Prisoners Of War of the Japanese who built the Burma to Thailand railway during world war two. Focusing on the doctors and medical staff among the prisoners. Also organised trips to Thailand twice a year.
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Newcastle Doctors (Medical Officers)
Who Were Pows On The Burma Thailand Railway In 1942-43

17th October 2003 marked the 60th anniversary of the completion of the Burma Thailand Railway. The Imperial Japanese Army forced 60,000 Allied prisoners of war, and approximately 250,000 natives of Javanese, Malayan, Tamil, Singaporean-Chinese and Burmese background, to perform manual labour in the construction of the railway. More than 13,000 of the POWs and an estimated 90,000 natives died over a period of about 14 months. There were 44 Australian Medical Officers (Doctors), and approximately 450 men who performed the function of Medical Orderlies, who laboured selflessly, with little equipment or medicines, to try and preserve the health of the POWs. 4 of these Medical Officers came from the Newcastle area. They were Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Hamilton and Captains Roy Mills, Thomas Brereton and Peter Hendry. Mac Winchester was a dentist who also enlisted from the Newcastle area. As at 2004 only one of these officers ( Peter Hendry) survives


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