Sir Ernest Edward “Weary” Dunlop February 07 2013, 0 Comments


by Kelly Keegan

Ernest Edward Dunlop engineered nothing more that absolute brilliance 1907-1993.  Earn or Ern as he was called born on 12th July 1907 in Victoria to parents James and Alice Dunlop. Ernest was the younger of two boys; his older brother, Alan.  Later in life Earnest was known as Weary, however his character distanced from vocabulary meaning of the word weary.  Whilst being enlisted and serving during WW2 Weary was considered a bright young soldier among military hierarchy.   It was clear that Dunlop demonstrated leadership and success for his country on monumental occasions.  One would refer to Dunlop as the Pharlap of the front line, soldiers, civilian and their families actually thought of him as  “Jesus on the Burma - Thailand Railway”. 

Weary a protector of humanity protecting his fellow soldiers from enemy fire.  Whilst compounded himself as a Japanese prisoner of war in Java Colonel Edward Weary commanded the Allied General Hospital.  Patients proclaimed Weary to be their savior often having been treated without available medical supplies.  Risking his own life speaking to the guards to ensure that POW who were suffering illness or in extremely weak physical condition could access medical assistance. These POW not fairing to well but existing in desecrating conditions were allocated less physically draining work, building the Burma-Thailand Railway.   During WW2; Weary was a surgeon medic who utilized anything he could improvise as a surgical instrument to treat and suture up wounded.

During Weary’s war service he kept a secret diary, his recall would be written on small sheets of paper in the smallest handwriting print successfully hidden away from guards.  Long after the war, forty-five years later in fact; Weary’s secret notes became print in a published book called “ The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop”.  Documented biography detailed much of the lives and deaths of young Australian’s, British and Dutch prisoners of war throughout the massive construction undertake that was Burma-Thailand Railway.   Born and raised on his father’s farm in rural Victoria near Shepparton. Weary later studied medicine.  After returning from the war Weary pursued the health profession specializing as a mouth and throat surgeon, he also became president of the international Society of Surgeons.  Vietnam War in 1969, Weary again; led the Australian surgical team.

The war ended, nineteen forty-five this was an apical time when Weary tirelessly spoke up for prisoners of war, he was their advocate fighting the rights for medical needs to be allocated free of charge. With permanent ink of a tattoo Australia’s government established a scheme to provide medical treatment for all prisoners of war. Today’s existing program called Veteran Affairs Repatriation has developed where more services are offered applying to all soldiers who have returned home from serving for their country.

You know!  The heroic spirit of a man like Weary only comes along once in a life time my children, your children and the future Australian children will know the name Weary Dunlop.  Knighted in 1969 and 1988 was named one of the 200 people who made Australia great.   As for me, when I look Corporal Cluck Rubber Duckie I instantly think of every soldier who bravely takes his life and places it before mine.

 Rubber Duckies You’re The One For Me !