Penny – Thai-Burma Railway
Measures 3cm diameter
The Thai-Burma Railway has come to represent both the inhumanity of the Imperial Japanese Army towards prisoners in the Second World War, as well as the courage, mateship and resourcefulness of Australian POW’s themselves. Of the almost 13,000 Ausralian POW’s forced to work onthe railway, more than 2,700 were lost – either to disease, starvation or brutal physical abuse. More would have been lost if not for the ingenuity and courgae of Australian medical officers who saved many in makeshift operating theatres. Work on the 415km rail line started in October of 1942. By completion in October 1943 12,000 Allied POW’s and tens of thousands of civilian labourers had died. The line operated until the war’s end in 1945.