Sir Edward 'Weary Dunlop
In 1945, the horror that was World War II finally ended. Fifty years on, this coin reflects on the sacrifices made by the many Australians who helped keep our freedom. The fighting was not just for territory and property, it was a struggle to protect essential humanitarian beleifs. The concept of equality among all people, encompassed in the Australian 'fair go' attitude, was under threat.
At its height, World War II saw fighting on a scale unprecedented in the history of humanity. The sheer magnitude of the struggle was reflected in the many theatres of war scattered around the globe. Every Australian who saw combat, every man, woman and child who lost a loved one in the defence of our freedom, every person who selflessly gave to the war effort, and every hard working person who joined the Land Army back home, all of them can proudly accept the mantle of hero.
In the face of unspeakable cruelty, he refused to break, providing care, hope and humour to thousands of sick and dying soldiers. Dignity is difficult to find amongst starvation and disease, yet Weary not only displayed great dignity, he unselfishly shared it with those who had nothing left.
|To commemorate the courage of a nation, Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop was chosen to focus on the sheer splendour of human spirit and to represent the compassionate face of war. To many Australians, his actions embody the sacrifice shown by all. If the war was a struggle for the maintenance of basic humanitarian beliefs, Weary embodied the ideal in Australia at that time. His memory is the memory of Australia's struggle in World War II.|
The essence of the great man's life is somewhat paradoxical. An army surgeon of enormous stature (both mentally and physically), he could just as easily break a man's nose as fix it. A boxer, footballer, cricketer, distinguished academic, pharmacist, surgeon and soldier, Weary led a full and memorable life. But it is amongst the terrible backdrop of war where he is most vividly remembered. It was as a surgeon on the infamous Burma Railway where he carved his legendary status.
Upon returning from the war, Weary dedicated his life to caring for former prisoners of war. Always a compassionate man, he also worked hard to rebuild strong relationships between Australia and Asia, and was honoured by many countries for his work Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop died in July, 1993.
Source: Information sheet accompanying the 1995 Australian 6 coin proof Set.
Weary Dunlop is featured on the following Australian coins:
1995 Fifty Cent
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Last modified: 05 December, 2007