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The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop [Paperback]

E.E. Dunlop
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

25 Mar 2010
This extraordinary first-hand account of Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop's experiences as senior medical officer in the infamous prisoner-of-war camps in Java and on the Burma-Thailand Railway, is not only an account of great historical significance but also a testament to the ability of the human spirit to overcome the most unbearably cruel conditions.

Frequently Bought Together

The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop + Prisoner of Japan: A Personal War Diary, Singapore, Siam & Burma 1941-1945 + The Railway Man
Price For All Three: £23.79

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Product details

  • Paperback: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 Mar 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0143003917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143003915
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop was an Australian surgeon who was renowned for his leadership whilst being held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. A courageous leader and compassionate doctor, he restored morale in the terrible prison camps and jungle hospitals. After the war he continued to work as a surgeon as well as becoming involved in a number of health and educational organisations, and worked tirelessly in the community until his death in 1993. His diaries were first published in 1986.


It's difficult not to be moved and shocked by 'Weary' Dunlop's extraordinary account of life as a prisoner-of-war. The details of daily life and the trials of surgery with no equipment and no anaesthetic are told in a matter-of-fact way by a man who displayed tremendous courage and resilience in the face of brutality and desperation.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unsung hero 10 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently finished reading "Surviving the Sword" an account of the horrors suffered by Allied PoWs at the hands of the Japanese during WW2 and encountered the name of Weary Dunlop. From that moment on I had to know more about this amazing man who had saved hundreds of men from death in the prison camps.

I've just finished reading his diaries and would wholeheartedly recommend them as a fantastic insight into the horror of the world the prisoners found themselves in and the salvation that Weary Dunlop brought to so many. The diary is written in a staccato style and does not flow as a normal historical account would, however it was written at a time where diaries were banned by their captors and by someone who had so very little time.

The impression you are left with is of a compassionate doctor and a disciplined soldier who never considered himself to be a hero, but just a professional man doing what was required at the time. His humour, compassion and grief at the losses suffered are exquisite and as the realisation dawns on you about just how far he went to fight for every prisoner you realise what an incredible man he was.

I have just ordered his biography and will write a review of that once I have read it. I would recommend this book absolutely, for it shows humanity in the darkest places and shows the reader just what a true hero is. God bless Weary Dunlop
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC MOVING WAR DIARIES 30 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Edward "Weary" Dunlop, born in Australia 1907, studied pharmacy and medicine before going to the UK for post-graduate study. He was in the UK working as a surgeon when WW2 began, was posted to Palestine 1940 and later to Java February 1942 ... becoming a prisoner of the Japanese on the fall of Singapore. These, his war diaries, are edited versions of the diaries he kept as a senior working doctor in Burma and Siam, eg on the Burma-Siam railway.

It's a terrific multi-faceted book, repetitive at times insofar as the grind of daily life shows in medical, budgeting and camp management detail, but the reality of men living in dreadful conditions is the central theme, with the story told via a courageously intelligent "Weary".

There are innumerable insights eg into the brutality of Japanese and Korean guards, the struggle against malnutrition and disease, the sustaining of hope through education and entertainment programs. There were times when my breath was taken away by the lyrical eloquence of the author as he described the beauty of the jungle and wildlife. There were times when I cried to read of another beating that, for the author, might have ended in death.

Wonderful as the book is, at 450 pages it's long and best embarked on by those keen on Burma/WW2 history and/or medicine. It would have been useful if there was a clearer map, and I never did understand where the POWs got their money from!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
My father himself died on the Birma railway. I've been there for four times.
Also the memories of sir Dunlopp was told there.
My wish that freedom will come all over the world. I told my story to schoolchildren in the Netherlands.
Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Weary! 7 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What an amazing man Dunlop is. During the most difficult time ever he managed the most amazing medical practices without hardly anything at his disposal
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, compelling read. 30 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is so real that you really feel like you've gone back in time to the 2nd world war era.
Written from his own diaries, in amazing detail, you can easily imagine that it was written today
about current events.
Best book Ive ever read.
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