Australian Fifty Cent Coins

1995 Weary Dunlop 50c

Copper-Nickel

This release commemorates 50 years since the end of World War II. It depicts the bust of Weary Dunlop and barbed wire symbolising his time incarcerated by the Japanese.




Lieutenant Colonel Sir Ernest Edward "Weary" Dunlop, AC, CMG, OBE (12 July 1907 – 2 July 1993) was an Australian surgeon who was renowned for his leadership whilst being held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. He was born in Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia.
During World War II, Dunlop was appointed to medical headquarters in the Middle East, where he developed the mobile surgical unit. In Greece he liaised with forward medical units and Allied headquarters, and at Tobruk he was a surgeon until the Australian Divisions were withdrawn for home defence. His troopship was diverted to Java in an ill-planned attempt to bolster the defences there. On 26 February 1942, he was promoted to temporary lieutenant-colonel. Dunlop became a Japanese prisoner of war in 1942 when he was captured in Bandung, Java, together with the hospital he was commanding. Because of his leadership skills, he was placed in charge of prisoner-of-war camps in Java, was later transferred briefly to Changi, and in January 1943 commanded the first Australians sent to work on the Thai segment of the Burma-Thailand railway. After being held in a number of camps in Java, he was eventually moved to the Thai-Burma railway, where prisoners of the Japanese were being used as forced labourers to construct a strategically important supply route between Bangkok and Rangoon. Conditions in the railway camps were primitive and horrific — food was totally inadequate, beatings were frequent and severe, there were no medical supplies, tropical disease was rampant, and the Japanese required a level of productivity that would have been difficult for fully fit and properly equipped men to achieve. Along with a number of other Commonwealth Medical Officers, Dunlop's dedication and heroism became a legend among prisoners. A courageous leader and compassionate doctor, he restored morale in those terrible prison camps and jungle hospitals. Dunlop defied his captors, gave hope to the sick and eased the anguish of the dying. He became, in the words of one of his men, "a lighthouse of sanity in a universe of madness and suffering". His example was one of the reasons why Australian survival rates were the highest.





Nominal Specifications

Denomination: 50 cents
Metal: 75% Copper
25% Nickel
Mass: 15.55 grams
Diameter: 31.50 mm
Reverse: Stuart Devlin
Obverse: Raphael Maklouf


Articles

Date Publication Page Article Subject Author
  Wikipedia Link Edward Dunlop Biography of Edward "Weary" Dunlop  


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