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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.

Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop

Louis Kahan

fibre-tipped pen on paper (sheet: 38.6 cm x 28.5 cm, overall (irregular): 38.6 cm x 57.2 cm)

Sir Edward (‘Weary’) Dunlop AC CMG OBE (1907–93) was a surgeon, who as a prisoner-of-war on the infamous 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 accorded a State funeral in Melbourne.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2017.97

Currently not on display

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Subject professions

Health and medicine

Donated by

Lily Kahan (52 portraits)

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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.