Death railway

Australia, 1979

Please note

Sorry, we don't have images or video for this item.

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.

Content notification

Our collection comprises over 40,000 moving image works, acquired and catalogued between the 1940s and early 2000s. As a result, some items may reflect outdated, offensive and possibly harmful views and opinions. ACMI is working to identify and redress such usages.

Learn more about our collection and our collection policy here. If you come across harmful content on our website that you would like to report, let us know.

How to watch

This work has not been digitised and is currently unavailable to view online. It may be possible for approved reseachers to view onsite at ACMI.

Learn more about accessing our collection


In ACMI's collection



David Bilcock

production company

Bilcock and Copping Film Productions



Production places
Production dates

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. Sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are progressively filling these in with further research.

Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url= |title=Death railway |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=21 April 2024 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}