Prisoner of War Medical Ingenuity in Far East Captivity


Parkes M, Gill G 22(4). 117 - 121 (Journal Article)

Research into British perspectives of the medical history of Far East prisoners of war (FEPOWs) has been conducted by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom), resulting from decades of treating FEPOW veterans that began after their repatriation in late 1945. This paper examines some of the ingenious ways that British medical officers, medical orderlies, and volunteers fought to save the lives of thousands of FEPOWs during captivity in the Second World War. It highlights some of the key medical challenges, together with the resourcefulness of a "citizen's army" of conscripts and volunteers who used their civilian knowledge, skills, and ingenuity in many ways to support Allied medical staff. Using the most basic of materials, they were able to produce a vast array of medical support equipment and even drugs, undoubtedly saving many lives.

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