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'Pedalling machine, Nakhon Pathom, 1945'

Pencil drawing signed lower right by Gunner Jack Bridger Chalker (1918-2014), Royal Artillery, 1945.

A prisoner of war of the Japanese from 1942-1945, Jack Chalker made a series of visual records of his experiences of the deprivation, disease and torture suffered by the soldiers working on the notorious Thai-Burma Railway. In early 1944, he was invited by an Australian surgeon at Chungkai Base Hospital Camp, Lieutenant Colonel Edward 'Weary' Dunlop, to make sketches of the medical treatment of prisoners. Since the Japanese guards forbade the prisoners from making a record of their incarceration, these sketches were drawn at great personal risk to Chalker. If they were discovered, he would have been beaten or even killed. This study shows a pedalling machine and other physiotherapy apparatus to aid the recovery of sick prisoners of war. On the back of the sketch are studies and notes of a rowing machine, machines for dorsal muscle exercises and paralysis, and balance stand. All of these improvised medical aids were made by prisoners from materials that they found in the camp.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 2002-04-895-1


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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