Stories of Remembrance

Army, Second World War (1939-45)David (Digger) Barrett,2/9th Field Ambulance AIF

David did what he could for the wounded in the chaos that was the Malayan campaign.
Brian Robertson, Biographer

In February 1941 David William Barrett left our shores on the Queen Mary as a medical orderly with the 2/9th Field Ambulance of the 8th Division AIF. David did what he could for the wounded in the chaos that was the Malayan campaign.

In February 1942 he entered Changi and was transported to the famous Siam to Burma railway in August 1943 ending up at Kanburi No 1 Coolie Hospital digging graves for the dead, or nearly dead, every single day. He was then moved to Loburi camp as the only medical person for 200 POWs.

After the Japanese surrender in August 1945 he volunteered for the War graves Commission party who returned to the railway to locate and log the graves of those who had died. In 1986 he founded and fought with the Australian Reparations committee and was instrumental in getting every Ex—POW Japan $25000.00 on 14 June 2001.

David and Brian Robertson have completed a book of his experiences—Digger’s Story, published by Five Mile Press.

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