Soldier stories

SIR WEARY DUNLOP. Submitted by Mick Monaghan (nephew of VX20520 G. Woods).

Background : Here are some letters written by Weary Dunlop (see Shrine Memorial) after the death of VX56696 Norman Allan Connelly. Norman was a P.O.W. on the Burma Railway. Weary was instrumental in getting Norm's wife a war pension after his death at age 48. Norm left behind a wife and 5 kids and Weary campaigned strongly that they should be looked after. A truly great man.


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Page 1 of Weary's indignant letter to Legacy. Photo courtesy of M. Monaghan (nephew of VX20520 G. Woods). id no. M_MONAGHAN_7

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Page 2 of Weary's indignant letter to Legacy. Photo courtesy of M. Monaghan (nephew of VX20520 G. Woods). id no. M_MONAGHAN_8

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Page 1 of Weary's symphathetic letter to Mrs. Connelly (see transcription below). Photo courtesy of M. Monaghan (nephew of VX20520 G. Woods). id no. M_MONAGHAN_9

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Page 2 of Weary's symphathetic letter to Mrs. Connelly (see transcription below). Photo courtesy of M. Monaghan (nephew of VX20520 G. Woods). id no. M_MONAGHAN_10


SIR EDWARD DUNLOP

63 1214

14 PARLIAMENT PLACE
MELBOURNE, 3002

28-6-72

Dear Mrs. Connelly,

Please accept my sympathy in the great loss you have sustained in the death of your husband - yet another of the gallant members of 2/2 Aust. Pioneer Batt who has died prematurely.

I am so glad that Legacy are taking up his case and I have no doubt whatever that your claim is just.

In my opinion the rapid build up of weight following starvation for 3 1/2 years was in itself dangerous, and many of those men returning to the heaven of plenty never got into a really fit state again.

It would be valuable in making a submission to establish his great change in weight with release as well as his malnutrition as a P.O.W., and also whether he needed to remain overweight after return.

The age of his parents and other members of the family at death should be examined.

It is of course most important to establish the chest pains as far back towards his war service as you are able to do.

I find that I have difficulty in making submissions on files for all those that I would like to help, but when Legacy arrange the appeal and a precis or summary is available for comment they have my permission to pass it to me for this purpose.

Please be sure that your case is just and with ordinary luck it will be accepted, as this has been done on my submissions in similar appeals.

Certainly you deserve all the help that we can get for you.

With sympathy and best wishes,

Your servant,

E. E. Dunlop

(Copy to Legacy)
Re Norman Allan Connelly No. 56696
2 2nd Pioneer Batt.


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Weary's response to a letter from Mrs. Connelly. We do not have a copy of her letter. Presumably, Weary had been on a P.O.W. TV program in 1979. Photo courtesy of M. Monaghan (nephew of VX20520 G. Woods). id no. M_MONAGHAN_11


SIR EDWARD DUNLOP

14 PARLIAMENT PLACE
MELBOURNE, 3002

24-10-79

Dear Marie Connelly,

Thank you for your kind and gracious card of congratulations.

The programme rather "blows one up" to larger than life, but I have appreciated meeting so many old friends, and enjoying the nice messages of approval.

With all good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

E. E. Dunlop

63 1214