Australian Prisoners of war on the Thai–Burma railway 1942–1945 ...
Since 1945 prisoners of war and the Thai–Burma railway have come to occupy a central place in Australia’s national memory of World War II.
There are good reasons for this. Over 22 000 Australians were captured by the Japanese when they conquered South East Asia in early 1942. More than a third of these men and women died in captivity. This was about 20 per cent of all Australian deaths in World War II. The shock and scale of these losses affected families and communities across the nation of only 7 million people.
This site focuses on Hellfire Pass (Konyu Cutting), the deepest and most dramatic of the many cuttings along the Thai–Burma railway. Not all Australian POWs worked here in 1943. Nor was the workforce in this region exclusively Australian. However, in recent years Hellfire Pass has come to represent the suffering of all Australian prisoners across the Asia–Pacific region. The experiences of prisoners elsewhere were, in fact, very diverse but this site only can only hint at these.
Go to The Thai-Burma Railway and Hellfire Pass web site.