So, to my shame I don’t know enough about people like Tom Uren. That shall be rectified #afterthethesis. For now, this, from a speech he gave in 2007, which touches on his time as a POW working on the Burma railway. Talk about natural experiments…
“There are many people and experiences that have nurtured my life. But my experience serving under Weary Dunlop has had a lifelong and lasting experience on me. We were at a place called Hintock Road Camp or, as Weary called it, Hintock “Mountain” Camp. “Weary” is a name of respect. He would tax our officers and medical orderlies and the men who went out to work would be paid a small wage.
“We would contribute most of it into a central fund. Weary would then send some of our people out into the jungle to trade with the Thai and Chinese traders for food and drugs for our sick and needy. In our camp the strong looked after the weak; the young looked after the old; the fit looked after the sick. We collectivised a great proportion of our income.
“Just as the wet season set in a group of about 400 British camped near us for shelter. They had tents. The officers took the best tents, the NCOs the next best and the ordinary soldiers got the dregs. Within six weeks only about 50 of them marched out—the rest died of dysentery or cholera. In the mornings when we would walk out to work, their corpses would be lying in the mud as we passed them. Only a creek separated our two camps. On the one side the survival of the fittest – the law of the jungle – prevailed, and on the other side the collective spirit under Weary Dunlop. That spirit has always remained with me.”
Tom Uren was a good man. #auspol
I have ordered his biog, straight left, through interlibrary loan. Will skim before submission of thesis, read properly afterwards. Between job applications…
the UK’s economic elite has been waging a class war since it’s existed
Both these men deserve our greatest respect. Weary Dunlop was one of those quiet heroes of the War. Tom Uren was a quiet hero of the peace.
Yep. I have Dunlop’s autiobiog on my shelf, as yet unread…