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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Edward 'Weary' Dunlop, River Kwai, Thailand, c. 1987 (printed 2003)

Robert McFarlane

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 27.7 cm x 35.0 cm, image: 20.1 cm x 30.0 cm)

Sir Edward (‘Weary’) Dunlop AC CMG OBE (1907–1993) was a surgeon, who as a prisoner-of-war on the Burma Railway used his medical skills to save the lives of a great number of allied POWs. Brought up in country Victoria, Dunlop studied medicine on a scholarship at the University of Melbourne, where he gained the nickname ‘Weary’. Having qualified as a surgeon in 1937, Dunlop enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Corps at the end of 1939. In 1942 he was captured by the Japanese in Java. Transferred to the Burma-Thailand Railway, Dunlop set up a jungle hospital and, without medical supplies and with improvised instruments, treated prisoners who were suffering from tropical diseases, malnutrition, exhaustion and the effects of torture. After the war, Dunlop practised as a cancer specialist in Melbourne and pioneered treatments for throat cancer. President of the International College of Surgeons, he remained supportive of ex-POWs and was involved in humanitarian programs both in Australia and throughout Asia. Dunlop was given a State funeral in Melbourne. This portrait came about when, in 1987, Robert McFarlane was commissioned to take stills of the making of a documentary about Dunlop and his wartime experiences.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2013
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2013.60

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Robert McFarlane (age 45 in 1987)

Colonel Edward (Weary) Dunlop AC CMG OBE (age 80 in 1987)

Subject professions

Health and medicine

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
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Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

John Coburn, 1987 Greg Weight
John Coburn, 1987 Greg Weight
John Coburn, 1987 Greg Weight
John Coburn, 1987 Greg Weight

101 photographic portraits

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

Pat Corrigan's generous gift of 100 photographic portraits by Greg Weight.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.