Created by Peter Corlett in 1995, this sculpture of Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop (1907–1993) commemorates Australian doctors and medical staff who served Australian prisoners of war in the Asia-Pacific region between 1939 and 1945. Located in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial, the larger than life scale work depicts Sir Edward as an elderly, gentle and humble man.
Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop is one of Australia most well known and respected veterans of the Second World War. Captured by the Japanese in Java in 1942, Weary was held in Singapore before being sent to Thailand in 1943, joining an estimated 60,000 Allied prisonsers of war working on the Burma–Thailand Railway . As commanding officer and chief physician for more 1,000 men, Dunlop gained a reputation for compassion and leadership. He remained until the war ended, labouring tirelessly to save wounded, sick and malnourished men. In standing up to the brutality of his Japanese captors he put his own life at risk many times. Though not the only medical officer to act in this way, his courage and heroism became legendary among Australian prisoners of war. During his captivity, Dunlop recorded his experiences in his diaries, doing so at great personal risk.