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Plaudits for Hellfire Pass
Hellfire Pass – notorious for the brutal conditions in which prisoners were forced to work.
The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum in Thailand honours the suffering and sacrifice of all those who worked as
forced labour on the Burma–Thailand Railway during the Second World War. Located in the Sai Yok district of the
western province of Kanchanaburi, the museum is operated by the Australian Government and opened in 1998.
This year, the travel website TripAdvisor
declared the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum to
be the best museum in Thailand and the sixth
best in Asia. This is the fifth year in succession
that TripAdvisor has praised the Museum.
More than 150,000 people visit the museum
each year. It includes a walking trail along the
site of the original railway line and several cut-
tings through rock made by Allied prisoners of
Hellfire Pass, known locally as Konyu Cut-
ting, is for Australians the most well-known of
many sites along the Burma–Thailand Railway.
It was named for both the brutal conditions
under which prisoners worked and the fact
that at night the scene was lit by carbide lights,
bamboo fires and bamboo containers that
held diesel and hessian wicks. Hellfire Pass,
remarked one former prisoner, ‘looked like a
scene out of Dante’s inferno’.
The Pass consisted of two cuttings, the first
measuring 460 metres in length and 7.6 metres
deep, the second 73 metres long and 24 metres
deep. Work began at Hellfire Pass in late April
1943 and continued into June, by which time an
estimated 700 prisoners of war had perished on
this one small section of the railway alone.
You can find out more about the museum
and the Australian experience of the Burma–
Thailand Railway during the Second World War
Days in Conflict
new app series
Following the success of the Gallipoli: The First Day app, the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have
released the second app, WWI: The Battles of Fromelles and Pozières, in the
Days in Conflict Centenary Edition series.
The app was launched by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dan Tehan,
and ABC Director of Digital Network, David Anderson, on 9 December
at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.
The free app explores stories and events from the battles of Fromelles
and Pozières over the days and nights from 19 to 23 July 1916.
‘This app will allow users to experience first-hand what it was like to
be on the Western Front in 1916,’ Mr Tehan said. ‘Intended for school-
aged children, undergraduates or anyone interested in this formative
part of Australia’s military history, the app will support a genuine under-
standing of the reality and hardship of war and its complex impact on
Based on documented historical information, the series is designed
as an education tool, developed to fit into the Australian Curriculum. It
provides a unique perspective on our military history in extraordinary
detail. View real footage and imagery from the Western Front and listen
to diary entries from those who served in Fromelles and Pozières, elo-
quently read by acclaimed Australian actor Hugo Weaving.
The remaining four apps proposed will mark the 100th anniversaries
of other important battles on the Western Front (such as Passchen-
daele); the Battle of Beersheba in Israel; Women on the Homefront; and
the Armistice. They will be released in 2017 and 2018.
WWI: The Battles of Fromelles and Pozières can be downloaded for free
from Apple and Google app stores.
For non-tablet users, the ABC has also developed the Days in Conflict:
Fromelles and Pozières website: www.abc.net.au/fromelles-pozieres.
One Woman’s War and Peace: A nurse’s journey in the
Royal Australian Air Force
by Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Retd)
With a foreword by the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson AO
Sharon Bown’s remarkable 16-year career with the RAAF saw her
deployed to East Timor, Bali and Afghanistan. She also served for a
year as aide-de-camp to the Minister for Defence.
From barely surviving a helicopter crash to commanding a combat
surgical team, Sharon’s journey is a confronting, but ultimately
inspirational, account of what our men and women in the military
experience, and the price they pay for their service.
Available from www.exislepublishing.com.au for $29.99
For King and Country
This book is published by the North Road Cemetery. It contains
outlines of all identified ex-service personnel who are buried or
commemorated within the cemetery.
Many conflicts are represented, from the Napoleonic and Crimean
wars through to the Vietnam War. Two George Cross recipients are
included, also well-known names such as William Charles Nightin-
gale Waite, Leonard Murray (Len) Opie and William Francis James
Available for $50 from the Cemetery office at 1A Cemetery Avenue,
Nailsworth, SA 5083, and also from the Army Museum of South
Australia at Keswick Barracks. Postal orders are welcome. Phone
(08) 8344 1051; Fax (08) 8344 8545.
If you would like your book featured in off the shelf, send us a
summary of the book (maximum 150 words). There is no need to
send a copy of the book or an extract. Photos and book covers will
not be featured. We can only publish a few of the notices sent to us.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to GPO Box 9998, ACT 2601.
The ABC presents an innovative new app, Days in Conflict, to mark the 100th
anniversary of the battles of Fromelles and Pozières on the Western Front in 1916.
The free app explores stories and events from the battles of Fromelles and Pozières
over the days and nights between the 19th and 23rd of July, 1916.
Based on documented historical information, the series provides a unique
perspective on our military history, in extraordinary detail.
View real footage and imagery from the Western Front and listen to diary entries
from those that served in Fromelles and Pozières, eloquently read
by Hugo Weaving.
Days in Conflict: The Battles of Fromelles and Pozières can be downloaded
for free from Apple and Google app stores.
Anzac Day at Sandakan Memorial Park, Malaysia, in 2017
Each year, several hundred Australians attend the
Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Sandakan Memorial
Park in the state of Sabah in Borneo, Malaysia.
The Park is located on the site of the Second World
War Sandakan prisoner-of-war camp in which British
and Australian soldiers were interred.
Some 1,700 Australian prisoners of war perished
either at the camp or on the horrific death marches
to or at Ranau.
We strongly encourage those planning to attend
the Dawn Service visit the DVA website for more infor-
mation about how to prepare and what to expect
when attending the annual commemoration. Once
on the website, type ‘ceremonies overseas’ into the
search function at the top-right of the home page.
You can help us to plan for your attendance by com-
pleting and submitting the voluntary registration
form and submitting it to email@example.com or
register by phone on (02) 6289 6009.
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