How can memory assist in documenting, reconstructing and analysing the past?


Caroline Gaden ©

Memory is the ability of Homo sapiens to remember. Life without reminiscences would be bland indeed. Our memory is our knowledge store, the words are almost interchangeable and without it the world as we know it would not exist.[1] We use that knowledge to analyse intricate and complicated information. It is the combination of memory and analysis which has led to the development of a complex brain power, superior to that of the other animals.[2]

Each individual’s memory is unique. We are able to share our memories, and thus our knowledge, with other people and thus build the knowledge of the whole community.[3] In turn we can learn from the communal memory and make new memories of our own, so our knowledge grows and changes with time, thus as our knowledge increases we become better able to analyse events of the past.

The documents so often used as the source of historical fact and interpretation are actually using someones memory as the origin of the information. Practically everything we write comes from our memories; even pieces of fiction and fantasy will draw on the storehouse of knowledge within our memories. For example J.R.R. Tolkein drew from his experiences on the Western Front during World War I for his vivid descriptions of battle in “Lord of the Rings” [4] even if his imagination conjured other aspects of that classic tale.

What we remember is what is important to us as a person, the information we forget should be the least important to us.[5]  A memory will be influenced by our culture, our values, our generation and our gender.[6]  If one thousand people witness the same event there will be one thousand different memories of what happened. However if we put of them all together, a composite picture of the event will be built up showing a balance between the actual social behaviour and the actual expectations of the time.[7]

During World War I of 1914-1918, the romance and adventure of war filled the minds of these eager young enthusiasts far more than any thoughts of the costs they might have to bear, [8]whereas the Vietnam War fifty years later led to violent protests against conscription, which led to a moratorium.[9] Values change over time in response to changing circumstances and experiences.

Memories, whether written or oral, can be used to document, reconstruct and analyse the past. Whether written or spoken, events will be recalled with all the biases and social constraints of the person and the time. Thus we can build up a complex view from a multitude of standpoints and end up with a more accurate history[10]. Family stories pass from person to another within a family and then from one generation to the next… legends are born and passed on.

We can use memories back for close to a century. Before that we must rely on the written rather than the spoken word. For the earlier times we may use written memories however they were written by the people who were taught to read and write. This tended to be the upper classes, the people thought to be ‘more important’ and thus we get the ‘upstairs’ prejudices[11]. One of the great advantages of collecting reminiscences is that we can hear the story from both “upstairs and downstairs”   so now with the technology to record the spoken word we can register the memories of the ‘downstairs’ worker who may have difficulty with written presentation of who lacks the self esteem to bother. [12]

As well as seeing the official Battalion report we can see what an individual soldier may have thought. In the past it was often the report of the senior ranks which was available. They would justify the official line, even covering up blunders. For the ordinary soldier it was a case of  Their’s not to reason why, their’s but to do and die. [13] Now, however, they are empowered,  their story may be told.

During the horrific time of the Burma-Thailand railway, it was the officers who were duty bound to maintain daily records. In some cases the view through their eyes would have been a lot  different from that of the ranks. Many ordinary soldiers had a burning hatred towards several of the officers [14]  who did not have to do the extreme physical work of the men, and many were better fed and consequently were two stone heavier in weight  ….. the difference between life and death. [15]

On the other hand many officers suffered brutal bashings as they protected their men and fought the Japs every inch to get food and medicine.[16] These officers, like Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop and ‘Roaring’ Reg Newton, earned the gratitude, respect and love of their men [17]

At Reg Newton’s funeral it was recalled how Reg used to stand up to the barbarous Japanese commandant who was known as ‘The Tiger’ until he earned ‘The Tiger’s’ respect. [18]  ‘The Tiger’ would even oppose other Japanese guards or engineers if he thought that Newton’s men were being unfairly treated.” [19]   Many prisoners recognise that they owe their lives to their own strong leaders. ‘Weary’ Dunlop maintained that good leadership was the key to survival. [20]  Reg Newton claimed that an officer had to show that he deserved to be looked on as leader [21] He was awarded    an MBE after the war and his citation reads, in part, He was frequently brutally ill treated by the Japanese guards while endeavouring to ameliorate the bad conditions for those under his command… His efforts on may occasions were directly responsible for saving many lives and casualities. [22] The written and the spoken memories confirm each other.

There are a number of books about the Prisoner of War camps along the Burma-Thailand Railway in World War II.[23] They can be used to compare and contrast conditions as each prison camp presented its own peculiar problems for the men to overcome.  There are many depressing similarities in the stories, but each recounts the situation from the author’s own perspective, be he from the officers or the lower ranks.[24] Broad pictures rarely allow for variations and there was plenty of variations along the railway line. but by putting the stories together we get a more complete picture of the history of the POW camps.

A vivid example of the use of memory to document history is shown by Vivian Bullwinkle. She was an Australian Army nurse who was evacuated from Singapore on 12th February 1942 on the s.s. Vyner Brooke.   The ship was bombed by the Japanese and sunk. After hours in the sea a group of survivors managed to swim to a beach on Banka Island. They surrendered to the Japanese who shot or bayoneted all the men, then herded the nurses, in their uniforms and white armbands, into the sea and shot them all. Sister Bullwinkle was shot and feigned death. Hours later she managed to make her way into the jungle until she was retaken ten days later. If she had not survived and been able to recount what had happened, no one would know the story of how those nurses died.[25]

(I was particularly moved by this story as in letters home from Malaya prior to the fall of Singapore, my father-in-law Bill Gaden recounted some of the times he spent with Sister Ogilvie.[26] She was one of the twenty one nurses massacred at Banka Island). [27]

Reminiscences may be the only way  for children to learn about their parents. Ron Barrassi was three years old when his father went to war, he was just over four when his father was killed.[28] It is only by calling on the memories of his father’s friends and family that Ron junior can learn about his father.

Memories can be an important way of correcting legends that have evolved over the years. In World War I there are the stories of Christmas at the Front when the opposing soldiers exchanged cigarettes and sang Christmas carols. The legend of this “widespread truce over the whole of Christmas Day” is, in fact, a myth, there was no widespread truce. As Scott reports Peace was declared spontaneously, very briefly and wholly unofficially at various places along the British Front line. But there were many more places along the line where there was no truce, no fraternisation and no Christmas spirit.[29]

In post -WWII  years there is a myth that the prison camp at Changi was a hell-hole. In fact talking to ex-POWs who worked in the mines or on the  railway, Changi was like Heaven compared to what they endured. ‘F’ Force men in particular were treated badly with little available food as  they were working far away from the river where the food barges could bring supplies.[30] Stan Arneil wrote in his diary on his return from the railway camps to Changi in December 1943: The prisoners who now faced us seemed  to be from another world. They were to us healthy, clean and were clothed in good shorts – they were booted. To them we were not believable. Our emaciated, cadaverous bodies were covered in rags, we were all barefooted with bandages covering our ulcers and we were almost all rotten with malaria and beri-beri[31].  

Forty years later, Stan Arneil of ‘F’ Force recalled the incident

We got out of the (train) trucks, a couple were dead so we laid them on the ground, and we lined up on the road. We were not ashamed because we were soldiers, and we wanted to look like soldiers. The people from Changi stood back and uttered not a word. We lined up on the road as best as we could and stood up as straight as we could. Those who couldn’t stand up straight were on sticks. And those who couldn’t stop shaking with malaria were held by their friends. We thought that this was what we should do as we were soldiers and we were not beaten. The sergeant major dressed us off and we stood in a straight line as he went over and reported to Colonel Johnston. Johnston went over to “Black Jack” Galleghan and he said “Your 2/30th all present and correct, sir.” And Galleghan said “Where are the rest?” The major said “They are all here sir.” And we were. “Black Jack” Galleghan, the iron man, broke down and cried. It was an incredible scene. We wanted to show them we were soldiers.[32]    

Although he remembers the effect on his commanding officer, as he wrote in his diary at the time, he also recalls the determination and pride not to be beaten but to remain a soldier. This important insight is not recorded in his diary but is obviously etched into his memory. We learn so much more by having access to it. Memory is a particulalry good medium for recalling a value and this strong memory of identity is so important when there has been such a traumatic breakdown in normal social conditions. [33]

The knowledge of that pride and determination helps us to understand how the prisoners survived the horrors of the camps. As Reg Newton said, “We were not Prisoners of War, we were members of the Australian Imperial Forces in difficult circumstances.” [34]

Thus by drawing on the memories of people who experienced such conditions we have a much fuller range of perspectives and insights than if we only looked at the official record. Indeed it may be only in recent times that we are able to get that multiplicity of standpoints [35] as more diaries and research of this time come to light. In fact many accounts have remained unpublished for all these years. As ‘Weary’ Dunlop says I have shrunk from publishing these diaries for over 40 years. It seemed that they might add further suffering to the bereaved[36] Research such as that by Patsy Adam-Smith [37] has drawn together a wide range of memories and the differing side of the story are the better for the telling.

As well as viewing through the eyes of the Australian soldiers we can see prison from a woman’s perspective. Sister Jessie Simons, one of the Australian Army nurses taken prisoner by the Japanese, recalls how the Japanese officers made the nurses set up a “club” for the “entertainment” of the officers. The nurses all refused to co-operate and this club experience was the most repulsive and unpleasant in our whole imprisonment. I know it stands out grimly in our memories. [38] So there are gender differences in what we may remember as being significantly important.

We may also look through the eyes of the enemy to see how they felt. For example Manfred Schmidt, was a German soldier in northern France on D-Day; [39]   Yi Hak-Nae, was a Korean guard who beat POWs on the Burma-Thailand Railway[40]. We may look at the memories of Japanese servicemen who became Prisoners of War in Australia [41] and try to understand their behaviour. In turn we may learn to understand the Japanese attitude towards what they saw as the disgrace and shame of being a prisoner. This “bushido” code of rules meant there was no understanding towards the prisoners and led to the brutal treatment of the Australian POWs. As Gordon says If a small amount of such understanding had existed then the events of all prisoners of war in Australia and Asia would almost certainly never have happened.[42] What is important to people of some cultures may be less important in others, knowledge of these differences may help explain past actions.

Memory is a useful tool for those who wish to re-construct aspects of the past. When Cornelius Ryan was researching D -Day for his book  The Longest Day  [43]  he consulted unit reports, diaries and official documents from both sides. However hundreds of people, serviceman and civilian, English, French, American and German, were questioned and interviewed so that all written evidence was backed up by an eye witness account. [44] The final result is a brilliant reconstruction of what may have happened on that epic day.

Official War Artists will show what they recall. It may be different from images remembered by the ordinary soldier who has neither the time nor the equipment to sketch events or places.  Paintings can show in vivid detail the people and places [45] and can act as triggers for many memories to resurface. It was close to impossible for POWs to draw images or keep diaries during their incarceration. A picture can give a visual image often more vivid than words and trigger a strong emotional response..

Poems may likewise recount much horror of  war, with Wilfred Owen, Herbert Goth and Lawrence Binyon being three famous poets who drew on their own experiences to write of the realities of life at the battlefront.[46]

Reconstructions of history need to be as accurate as possible if they are portrayed as being the true story. This is particularly true of ‘mass media’ such as TV and films because such reconstructions contribute to the “popular memory” of a society[47]. It is sad if this is a ‘false’ memory.  “The Bridge on the River Kwai”  is viewed with anger by former prisoners of war because the film portrayed prisoners as being inspired by their British leadership to show what a good job they could do. The prisoners, in fact, had little time for British leadership [48]and did all in their power to sabotage the Bridge, from shearing bolts, to splitting wood, to putting termites in the holes where the timber piers were placed[49]. A pity that more servicemen who were there were not asked to recount their stories before the film, with all its falsehoods, was made.

Memories also play a vital part in analysis of the past.  We may be able to recapture Australia’s history and re-examine what happened fifty years ago “through Australian eyes and not necessarily Imperial eyes.” [50] Old ideas may be challenged as people look at the trauma of war and try to understand.[51]

We now have the desire and ability to look at more memories, from more people of all ranks, not just those in charge who will continue to justify their own actions.  This gives  new perspectives on events. Stuart Glover points out that many WWII Military strategists were guilty of criminal unprofessionalism.[52] It is not a view that the military strategists are likely to admit, but talk to the soldiers who were in Singapore on 15th February 1942 and hear their side.[53]  We never had the chance to win-it was a great feeling of loss [54]and Newton wrote of the sheer futility of the control by politicians and Administration civilians over our Units and our lives. [55]

With all reminiscences there will be self censorship and some events will deliberately not be passed on, or even recalled. Jessie Simons wrote that it was not possible to keep a diary so the story was recounted from memory. She said:  There are many things about which I have kept silent in this book …. there are (other) thingsI have left out intentionally.[56]  There may be a psychological reason to heal wounds,[57] there may be a deliberate with-holding time [58] or a distortion of facts to hide or protect  identity. It may be difficult for a historian to navigate these troubled times without causing more distress and the historian also needs to recognise and respect what is happening.

Where situations of extreme trauma are recalled it may be that there is a strong need for “Time the Healer” to do its work. As Vivian Bullwinkel recounts  We were still grieving over the loss of so many dear friends and colleagues and bitterly resentful of the waste of so many young lives ….. such feelings and experiences could not immediately be put into words or recounted.[59]

By retirement age many people have an emergence of memories that were tucked away and are now able to be discussed, often with brutal honesty. The bias from repression or distortion may be less inhibiting now [60] and taboo subjects can be discussed as there is a distancing by time and “we don’t do that any more”. [61]  The ex-prisoners no longer want to exterminate every Japanese they see [62], but they feel an obligation to their comrades to set down the part they played in this period of our history.[63]

Thus the passage of time can bring new perspectives to events of the past. Times change, values change, further experiance can bring new vision. There are new understandings and former enemies can be friends, or at least respect the others viewpoint. This ‘recovery’ and reconciliation may be important to the individuals[64] but our community learns from it too, we get an insight into our past.

Some people are more willing than others to broaden their outlook. The Japanese Government has found it very difficult to admit to the atrocities and have tried to erase that era from the history books.[65] nor will they pay compenstation to the thousands of women forced into prostitution for the Japanese troops. [66] In Australia as we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II we are likely to learn more of that time by listening to the remaining soldiers.

One thing which has stood out in all the books and reminiscences is the incredible mateship of many of the Australians, the bond of support and protection between them, often despite the barrier of rank. Mate helped mate even if it was just a quiet word of encouragement. In most cases officers tried to protect their men but there were some who sadly failed in this. The Australians who died in the camps did not die alone.[67] They relied on each other so much, they helped each other so much and it separated the Australians from the other nationalities. [68]

At the hour of their deaths there was always a comrade there to hold a hand, smooth a brow or say a prayer. For ex prisoners today this still happens[69].

The women needed the mateship too,[70] Vivian Bullwinkel recalled how when they returned home, they missed each other tremendously to begin with[71]. The comradeship and feeling for each other remain.[72]

Those who survived have had a great need to keep in contact with the friends they made in the camps, they could not share the horrors with their families who had little concept of what happened.  [73] You might get some mates you might talk to them about it then but not normally outside because there’s some terrible bloody things happened, things that aren’t in the history books and you never forget it, never. [74]

This love and care has continued over the years with people like Reg Newton  who continued to fight for “his boys” against any public slight or bureaucratic ineptitude [75], and Weary Dunlop who resolved to make their care and welfare a lifelong mission.[76]

All Australian Prisoners of War of the Japanese wonder why they were among the survivors, just the fact of being a survivor has its burden  [77] with the memories and the “why me…? and the “If only…..”

For every one of their stories there are hundreds of others which are lost to us. We need to tap these memories because their reminiscences are the reminiscences of our nation. [78] They will help us to understand the kind of people they were and understand the suffering they endured. They suffered together an experience that nobody else understands: they survived and they always remember the mates they left behind…….


They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow,

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.


Laurence Binyon, “For The Fallen.” [79]



This was an assignment in the course Local History 423 “Memory and Heritage” as part of the Postgraduate Diploma  in Local and Applied History, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, graduation March 1996.




Archer, Jeffrey  (1988)  “Colonel Bullfrog” in  A Twist in the Tale,   London: Hodder and Stoughton, Coronet Books, pages 153-170.

Adam-Smith, Patsy (1992)  Prisoners of War from Gallipoli to Korea,   Ringwood, Victoria: Viking.

Arneil, Stan. (1980)  One Man’s War,    Sydney: Alternative Publishing Co-operative Ltd.

Clarke, Hugh and Burgess, Colin (1992)  Barbed wire and Bamboo – Australian POWs in Europe, North Africa, Singapore, Thailand and Japan.  St Leonard’s NSW: Allen and Unwin.

Dunlop, Ernest Edward (1986)  The war diaries of “Weary” Dunlop,  Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin Books.

Graham, D.L. (Jim) (1994)  A School of their Own,    Armidale: The Armidale School.

Holmes, Linda Goetz (1993)   Four thousand bowls of rice – a prisoner of war comes home,   St. Leonard’s, NSW: Allen and Unwin.

Improved Communication Skills instructor’s handbook for Advanced Redaing Skills courses. Available from ICS, PO Box 384, Milson’s Point, NSW 2601.

Jackson, C.O.Badham, (1947)  A state at war, the official history of the Lord Mayor’s Patriotic and War Fund of NSW   The Australian Comforts Fund, NSW Division.   No pulisher given.

Kemp, D.A. (1976)   The Nature of Knowledge,   London: Clive Bingley Ltd.

Kenny, Catherine (1986)  Captives, Australian Nurses in Japanese prison Camps,    Brisbane: Queensland University Press.

McCormack, Gavan and Nelson, Hank  (1993)  The Burma – Thailand railway: memory and history,    St Leonard’s, NSW: Allen and Unwin.

Murai, Yoshinori (1993)  “Asian forced labour (romusha) on the Burma_Thai railway” in McCormack, Gavan and Nelson, Hank  (1993)  The Burma – Thailand railway: memory and history,    St Leonard’s, NSW: Allen and Unwin, pages 59-67.

Nelson, Hank. (1985)  Prisoners of War, Australians Under Nippon.   Crow’s Nest, N.S.W.: Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Newton, Reg and other survivors. (1975)  The Grim Glory of the 2/19 Battalion A.I.F.  Sydney: 2/19 Battalion A.I.F. Association.

Penglase, Joanna and Horner David, (1992)  When War came to Australia, Memories of the Second World War.   St Leonard’s, NSW: Allen and Unwin.

Rivett, Rohan D. (1946)  Behind Bamboo, an inside story of the Japanese Prison Camps.  Sydney: Angus and Robertson Ltd.

Ryan, Cornelius, (1959) The Longest Day.   London: Coronet Books.

Simons, Jessie Elizabeth (1954) While history passed – the story of the Australian Nurses who were prisoners of the Japanese for three and a half years.   London: Heinemann.

Thompson, Paul (1988)  The Voice of the Past    Oral History.    2nd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wall, Don (1985)  Singapore and Beyond, the story of the men of the 2/20 Battalion told by the survivors.  East Hills, N.S.W.: 2/20 Battalion Association Secretary.


Articles in journals and magazines

Author (a doctor) unknown, date unknown, Responses to war in Homo sapiens   Article photocopy given to the author by Mark Harrison.

Dolph, Harry (1994)  “Behind enemy lines”  Reader’s Digest  March 1994, pages 132 – 159.

Editors of Reader’s Digest (1994) “Through their eyes” Reader’s Digest   June 1994, page 4-5.

Ehrlich, Paul. (1995) “Eric Lomax’s Long Journey”   Reader’s Digest, January 1995, pages 139 – 159.

Gleitzman, Morris (1995) “Scents and sensibilities” Good Weekend Magazine,   14th February 1995, page 46.

Gordon, Harry (1994)   “Voyage from shame, the Cowra breakout.”   The Australian Magazine, August 6-7,  1994, pages 16-23.

Harrington, Peter   (1994)  “The Great Sacrifice”,  This England    Autumn 1994, pages 14-15.

Huxley, John, (1994)  “Man of War”, Good Weekend Magazine, 4th June 1994, pages 23-28.

Lane, Daniel (1994) “End Games: Anzacs remembered”  The Bulletin 26th April 1994, pages 96-97.

Linden, Eugene (1993)  “Can Animals think”  Reader’s Digest  November 1993, pages 107-111.

Moller, David (1993)  “Ray Hamley’s gift of peace”.   Reader’s Digest March 1993, pages 81-88.

Owen, Wilfred, poems “Anthem for doomed youth”, “Spring Offensive” and “Strange meeting”, photocopies of notes given to the author by Mark Harrison.

Ponte, Lowell (1993) “In the blink of an ear”,  Reader’s Digest     November 1993, pages 93-98.

Scott, Peter T (1993) “Postcard Album – Home for Christmas?” This England  Winter 1993, pages 48-50.

This England   Salute the Soldier Poets

Lawrence Binyon        1869 – 1943                 Autumn 1993, pages 18 – 21.

Herbert Goth                1896 – 1965                Autumn 1994, pages 12 – 14

Walsh, Kerry Anne, (1994)  “You deserve a medal”,  The Bulletin,  26th April 1994, pages 28-30.


Sir Edward Dunlop – a Life  An interview with Peter Ross, produced by John Turner, ABC Current Affairs video, 1992.  Shown ABC TV after Weary Dunlop’s death in July 1993. (1 hour). In the possession of the author.

Memories of War : Australians in Vietnam  Part 1 (35 minutes)  Part 2  (37 Minutes)   Equality Videos, P.O. Box 15, Drysdale, Victoria 3222. Available Dixson Library CR 959.70438 M533. No date.

World War II – a personalised view by Stuart Glover   Classroom Video, PO Box 19, Newport, NSW 2106. No date.

Audio Cassettes

Reg Newton 2/19 Battalion A.I.F. Interview on ANZAC Day 1993, with members of the Gaden family. In the possession of the author

Gordon Gaffney, 2/30 Bn AIF, interview with Caroline Gaden.

Letters and Diary

Letters home from Malaya written by Captain Bill Gaden 2/20 A.I.F., from his enlistment in the AIF to his return home in 1945, and his diary of time as a Prisoner of War on the Burma-Thailand railway. In the possession of the author.

Personal memories

Reg Newton’s funeral eulogy

Russell Braddon’s remark that the prisoners were surrounded by love at the time of their deaths and no one died alone, taken from the TV program “Burma Railway” shown many years ago, most likely on ABC TV.


[1] Kemp, D.A. The Nature of Knowledge, London:Clive Bingley, 1976, p.11

[2] Linden, Eugene. “Can Animals Think” in Readers  Digest November 1993, p.107

[3] Kemp, op cit p.26

[4] Becker, Alida (Editor) A Tolkein Treasury Sydney:Mallard Press, 1989, p.20

[5] Improved Communication Skills instructors handbook for Advanced Reading Skills, available from ICS.

[6] Lummis, Trevor, Memory in Trevor Lummis Listening to History London: Hutchinson, 1987, p.129

[7] Thompson, Paul, The Voice of the Past Oral History, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1988, p.110

[8] Graham, D.L. (Jim) A School of their Own, Armidale: The Armidale School, 1994, p.104

[9] Memories of War:Australians in Vietnam Part 1 (35 minutes) Part 2 (37 minutes) Equality videos, PO Box 15, Drysdale Victoria, Available UNE DIxon Library, no date.

[10] Thompson, op cit,  p.5

[11] Thompson, ibid, p, 6.

[12] Thompson, ibid, p. 18.

[13] From the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade

[14] Wall, Don, Singapore and Beyond, the story of the men of the 2/20 Battalion told by the survivors, 1995,  East Hills, NSW:2/20 Bn Association

[15] Nelson, Hank, Prisoners of War, Australians under Nippon, Crows Nest, NSW: Australian Broadcasting  Corporation, p.58-61.

[16] Newton, Reg and other survivors, The Grim Glory of the 2/19 Battalion AIF,   1975, Sydney:2/19 Battalion Association, p.803.

[17] Nelson, op cit, p.68

[18] Personal recollection of Eulogy at Reg Newton’s funeral

[19] Nelson, op cit, p.62

[20] Sir Edward Dunlop, a life, an interview with Peter Ross, produced by John Turner, ABC Current Affairs video, 1992. Shown ABC TV after Weary Dunlop’s death in July 1993. In possession of the author.

[21] Nelson, ibid, p. 63

[22] Newton, op cit p. 803.

[23] See Bibliography list

[24] See Bibliography list

[25] Kenny, Catherine, Captives, Australian Nurses in Japanese Prison camps (1986) Brisbane Queensland Universtity Press.

[26] Letters home from Malaya written by Captain EW Gaden, 2/20 Battalion AIF In possession of the author and transcribed in full in “Pounding Along to Singapore”

[27] Simons. Jessie Elizabeth, While history passed- the story of the Australian nurses who were prisoners of the Japanese for three and a half year, 1954, London: Heinemann, p. xvii.

[28] Lane, Daniel, End Games:ANZACs remembered, The Bulletin, 26th April 1994, pages 96-97.

[29] Scott, Peter, Postcard album- Home for Christmas?, This England, Winter 1993, p.48

[30] Recollections of Gordon Gaffney and Reg Newton as told to the author.

[31] Arneil, Stan, One Man’s War, 1980, Sydney:Alternative Publishing Cooperative Ltd,

[32] Arneil, Stan, ibid, p. 154

[33] Wilton, Janis, Memory and Multiculturalism: an account of the VIII International Oral History Conference in Siena and Lucca, Italy, February 1993 in Oral History Association of Australia Journal 15, 1993, p.91

[34] Reg Newton, personal recollection as told to the author.

[35] Thompson, op cit, p.5

[36] Dunlop, Ernest Edward, The diaries of ‘Weary’ Dunlop, 1986,  Ringwood, Victoria, Penguin Books p.xxi

[37] Adam-Smith, Patsy, Prisoners of War from Gallipoli to Korea, 1992, Ringwood, Victoria: Viking,

[38] Simons, op cit. p.38.

[39] Huxley, John, 1994 ‘Man of War’, Good Weekend Magazine, 4 June 1994, p/38.

[40] McCormack, Gavan and Nelson, Hank, The Burma Thailand Railway: memory and history, St Leonards, Allen and Unwin, 1993, pp. 122-146

[41] Gordon, Harry, ‘Voyage of Shame’, the Cowra breakout, The Australian Magazine, August 6-7, 1994, pp. 16-23

[42] Gordon, op. cit, p.23.

[43] Ryan, Cornelius, The Longest Day, 1959,  London: Coronet Books

[44] Editors of Readers Digest, ‘Through their eyes’, Readers Digest June 1994, pp 4-5.

[45] Photographs and paintings by Capt EW Gaden of 2/20 Bn AIF, original paintings now with Victoria Barracks Museum, Sydney

[46] Wilfred Own poems ‘Anthem for doomed youth’, ‘Spring Offensive’ and ‘Strange meeting’ given to the author by Mark Harrison, Herbert Goth in Salute the Soldier Poets, This England, Autumn 1994, pp 12-14 and Lawrence Binyon, Salute the Soldier Poets, This England, Autumn 1993, pp18-21.

[47] Lummis, op cit, p 69-70.

[48] Reg Newton, personal communication

[49] Holmes, Linda Goetz, Four thousand bowls of rice- a prisoner of war comes home, 1993, St Leonards, NSW: Allena and Unwin, p.30 and Gordon Gaffney, personal communication

[50] Walsh, Kerry Anne, ‘You deserve a medal’,  The Bulletin, 26 April 1994, pp 28-30.

[51] Thompson, op cit, p. 2.

[52] Glover, Stuart, World War 11 a personalised view, Classroom video, PO Box 19, Newport, NSW 2016.

[53] Nelson, op cit, p. 18

[54] Wall, op cit, p.109

[55] Newton, op cit, p. 390.

[56] Simons, op cit, p. ix.

[57] Portelli, Allessandro, ‘The death of Luigi Trastulli’ in Allessandro Portelli, The death of Luigi Tastulli and other stories: Form and meaning in Oral History, 1991, New York, State University, p. 26

[58] Dolph, Harry, ‘Behind Enemy Lines’, Readers Digest March 1994, pp 132-159

[59] Vivian Bullwinkel Statham 1986, in the forward to Kenny, Catherine, Captives Australian Nurses in Japanese prison camps, Brisbane,: QUP.

[60] Thompson, op cit, p.117

[61] Lummis, op cit, p. 123

[62] Nelson, op cit, pp 206-208.

[63] Nelson, ibid, p.222.

[64]  Ehrlich, Paul, ‘Eric Lomax’s Long Journey’, Readers Digest, January 1995, pp 139-159 and Moller, David, ‘Ray Hamley’s gift of peace’, Readers Digest, March 1993, pp 81-83.

[65] McCormack and Nelson, op cit, p.35

[66] Carlton, Mike, ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’ in Sydney Morning Herald, 18 February 1995, p.30.

[67] Arneil, op cit, p. 4

[68] McCormack and Nelson, op cit, p. 18, and Adam-Smith, op cit, p. 505 and Wall, op cit, p. 129.

[69] Holmes, op cit,  p. 159

[70]  Penglase Joanna and Horner, David, When war came to Australia, Memories of the Second World War, 1992, St Leonards, NSW:Allen and Unwin, p.246

[71] Adam-Smith, op cit, p. 465.

[72] Kenny, op cit, p.161.

[73] Nelson, op cit, p. 71.

[74] Penglase and Horner, op cit, p. 233

[75] Nelson, op cit, p.63

[76] Dunlop, op cit, p. 435.

[77] Nelson, op cit, p. 217.

[78] Adam-Smith, op cit, p. 582.

[79] Binyon, op cit, p.20