Changi. An unusual aside?

A comment I made on another Blog

The following post is actually a comment I made on another ‘Bloggers’ post I thought after reading it that it might make an interesting post on my own site so here it is. For those interested the Blogger that I follow is:

http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

This is a very good site for those interested in the history of WWII mainly in the Pacific and well worth following.

 

 

Back in 1964-65 I was managing the accounts payable section of AMI in Fishermen’s Bend Melbourne Victoria ( I always bung in the Vic bit don’t want to get mixed up with Florida), I only had two men working with/for me in this department one was Charlie Cook, the other was Reg, I can’t recall Reg’s last name. The rest of my staff was young women.

They were both 20 years or more older than what I was and had both served in WWII, Charlie in the British forces he being a Pom, and Reg in the Australian Army. Neither spoke much about their war service, even though this was only 19-20 years after the end of WWII.

Reg was the quieter one of the two, although he had a vicious wit at times. He also had an unusual gift, for want of a better word. he liked flies and blowflies and never killed them. They could settle on his arms and he would just look at them, he would never brush them from his forehead.

This in Melbourne especially in the stinking humid hot summers that they sometimes experience as anybody that’s lived there can attest is bordering on the insane. They drive you mad. The ‘Great Australian Salute” is everywhere.

Anyway Reg didn’t give a damn, so curiosity got the better of me and I asked him why he didn’t kill the pests and this is what he told me, unfortunately not verbatim. “when I was in Changi the flies would settle and lay their eggs into sores and wounds and the maggots would eat all that was rotten and decaying and then we would clean the wound after they’d left and it would heal” .

He told me that had it not been for the flies he would most certainly have died in Changi as they cleaned his wounds.

I accepted what Reg told me without question, why should I doubt him? He was an ex-POW from Changi; he’d survived, but never spoke about it unless asked and then reluctantly. Perhaps with his comrades in arms who suffered there it was different, I’ll never know.

He never ever killed or harmed a fly in all the time we worked together.

AMI mentioned in the first paragraph was Australian Motor Industries and they imported cars, knocked down, and assembled them in Fishermen’s Bend.

The vehicles? From the USA the Nash Ramblers. From Great Britain, the Triumphs (the sports car) and from Japan the Toyota’s. ( the Crown & Corona).

Reg thought that was kind of humorous and kind of poetic justice for some reason.

5 thoughts on “Changi. An unusual aside?

  1. Brian, this fact about maggots I actually knew, This was used as far back as our Civil War, Maggots would eat gangrene, saving many lives and many more limbs. All hospitals back during the civil war would keep them on hand and when a wound became gangrene they would scoop a handful into the wound and let them eat away.
    LOL now i have to go eat my dinner…
    Love ya
    Lisa

    Like

    1. Proof that truth is indeed stranger than fiction you might say. I never had any reason to doubt what Reg told me. but I still do not like flies.
      I hope you enjoyed your dinner. says Mr Green :mrgreen:

      Like

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