The Men of the Thai Burma Railway

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

Ever wondered what it was like working on “the line”?

It’s not a history lesson. It’s more personal than that. The stories of men will be told: of some who went to fight in WW2, but became prisoners of sixteen months or more, working as slave labour on the Thai Burma railway between 1943 and 1944.

This will be a contemporary exploration of a part of the lives of a handful of Australian ex-POW’s of the Japanese. They were, and are, surprising men who continue to challenge the generations who have come after them.

What will we cover?

We will provide an initial, short run down of the history of the Thai Burma railway, giving it context: a place and time in our military history.

The emphasis of the class however will be on the men who were there. Soldier, sailor, beggar man, thief… armies and navies have forever been made up of all this rich diversity of humanity. Some behave and some do not. Some survive and some do not. Others come through the history well enough, most don’t.

Not a POW history. Questions and discussion a must.

Who will be teaching?

Pattie Wright has worked as a producer and director in the Australian film industry for most of her working life. Her involvement in developing a feature film on the life of Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop started her interest in the history and men of the Thai Burma Railway. She has had two books published on this subject: ‘The Men of the Line’ (MUP/Miegunyah 2008) and ‘Ray Parkin’s Odyssey’ (Pan Macmillan 2012).

Pattie has interviewed well over a hundred ex-POWs throughout Australia as well as travelled to the sites of POW camps in Japan and Thailand and has become expert in this area of POW history.