Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham attended the Hellfire Pass Dedication Event at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok. The Prime Minister installed a time capsule which contains messages from the then-Australian and UK Prime Ministers and the US President, as well as messages from former POWs who worked on the railway and newspapers from the period. The capsule’s contents are gifted to the Thai people and it is due to be opened on 4 Feb 2042.
The former POWs worked in Hellfire Pass, which is the name given to a small section of the Thai-Burma railway built during the Second World War. More than 60,000 POWs, mostly from the British Empire, the Netherlands, Australia and the USA worked on construction of the railway.
Prime Minister Morrison said that “despite the traumas and the sicknesses … they took up jobs, they opened shops, they opened hardware stores, they raised families and they prevailed. A spirit that the fires of hell could not vanquish.”