Death railway

Australia, 1979

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Examines the building of the 280 mile long narrow gauge Bangkok to Rangoon Railway during the 1940’s, on which 116,000 World War II prisoners died. A number of POW’s, including Dr ‘Weary’ Dunlop who worked on the railway and survived provide valuable reminiscences of the hardships endured, meagre food rations, lack of medical facilities, the use of a wood saw to amputate limbs and tropical ulcers. The relics of a nightmare railway line are still visible in remote reaches of Thailand’s jungle. David Bilcock and his film crew retrace the steps of the soldiers who perished building the line that was to be bombed during its first week of operation. Includes footage of the Japanese attack on Malaya and Singapore and the setting up of Changi Prison. Narrated by Gerrard Kennedy. Suitable for middle and upper secondary levels.

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production company

Bilcock and Copping Film Productions


David Bilcock



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Subject categories

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Australia - Armed forces

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Burma-Siam Railway

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Dunlop, Edward, Sir

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Prisoners of war

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → World War, 1939-1945


Documentary → Documentary films - Australia

History → Burma-Siam Railway

History → Dunlop, Edward, Sir

People → Dunlop, Edward, Sir

Short films

Short films → Short films - Australia






16mm film; Preservation Print (Section 5)

16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

16mm film; Limited Access Print (Section 2)

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