Saturday 2 April 2011

Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop

Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop by Hazel Edwards, illustrated by Pat Reynolds (New Frontier Publishing)
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9781921042706
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop is the second title in New Frontier's Aussie Hero series. There is surely no other Australian who fits the title of Aussie Hero more than Weary Dunlop. Doctor, sportsman and war hero, he was renowned not only for his physical skills and medical expertise but as a man of great compassion, bravery and forgiveness.

Hazel Edwards has clearly detailed Weary's life from a child and through hard work gaining a university scholarship and then overseas to practise as a surgeon. With the outbreak of World War Two he joined the Medical Corps of the AIF resulting eventually in his capture by Japanese forces in 1942. His actions in the Japanese Prisoner of War camps and on the Burma Railway in saving men's lives from disease and brutality is indeed heroic. After the war he was active in veteran associations and building bridges between Australia and Asia, including Japan. After all that he had endured Weary Dunlop maintained his belief 'that all men are equal in the face of suffering and death'.

Pat Reynolds' colour illustrations complement the text throughout, and at times add a touch of humour. A timeline also provides an easy quick reference guide to key dates. Teachers' resources are available at

New Frontier is to be commended for introducing great Australians such as Weary Dunlop to primary school children. This series allows young children to access information about the people of whom we can all be proud. In this way, the achievements of those who have built our society and way of life will be recognised and remembered and will hopefully inspire us to continue their legacy.

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