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The Amazing Life of Sir Edward Weary Dunlop

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 136

One of the most favorite Australian heroes is Sir Edward Weary Dunlop, nicknamed "Weary". However, his nickname is a total opposite to the role he played in the lives of many people during the Second World War. Sir Weary was endeared by many because he never ceased to be compassionate and concerned more of the welfare of other people than himself.

Before he enlisted into the Australian army, Edward Weary Dunlop was a student of medicine and studied in the prestigious University of Melbourne. When he graduated, he was decorated with honors of excellence in pharmacy and medicine. During his years in the University, he joined the institution's Rugby Club. He performed well in his athletic life while consistently gaining above average marks in his academics. He became the first Victorian-born player to ever represent the Wallabies.

Weary was also a school cadet and continued to work part-time for the military until he relinquished that responsibility at some point because he could no longer juggle his commitments. The pressure from his pharmacy studies made him quit his part-time service to the military in 1929. However, he re-enlisted in the year 1935 and was commissioned to work for the Medical Corps, where he worked as a surgeon holding the rank of captain. He then went to London by boat and continued his quest to further his medical knowledge. It was in London where he met other established and distinguished medical practitioners like Professor Grey Turner and Sir Thomas Dunhill, who became Weary's inspiration to do better in his profession.

In the following year, the Second World War broke out and Sir Edward Weary Dunlop was appointed to the medical headquarters located in the Middle East. There he formed the mobile surgical unit. He provided assistance to many people who were afflicted by the war until he was withdrawn to defend his homeland. However, the troopship he boarded docked on Java, Indonesia because of an attempt to augment the forces situated in the area.

Weary became a Japanese POW in 1942, along with the hospital he was stationed at. Later he was transported, along with other POWs to Burma-Thailand, where they were forced to work on a Japanese-envisioned railway from Thailand to Burma.

During this time, Sir Dunlop's leadership skills were put to the test. He was appointed to decide which of the prisoners were fit to work and who weren't. But such a decision to make was too heart-wrenching for him, seeing how the prisoners were pushed to work despite their pitiful conditions. Food was inadequate all the time, and yet they were still compelled to work more than the strength they could muster.

Nevertheless, Sir Edward Weary Dunlop continued to remain on their side, restoring their morale, healing the sick, and giving comfort to the dying. To these men, Sir Weary, in their words, was like "a lighthouse of sanity in a universe of madness and suffering".

My name is Carolyn, and what an outstanding man this was. Sir Edward Weary Dunlop continually gave of himself, under difficult circumstances, and served his fellow man. He is one of the great Australian heroes.

Source: EzineArticles
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