John McCloy: August 2010
John is a teacher in the Western Australian town of Carnarvon where he has lived since 1994. He has been writing poems and short stories for many years, some of which are published on his own website, JOHN’S PAGE. John is sought after as an MC for local events in Carnarvon and has hosted events such as the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Torch Celebrations in Carnarvon, local street parties and the Rotary Australia Day dinner.
His father was a sergeant in the 2/15th Field Regiment and member of “B” Troop in the regiment. He was assigned to “D” Force in Changi Prison and was later sent to work on the Thailand-Burma railway. Hellfire Pass and the Hintok Bridge were two areas where his father was forced to work.
Like many POWs, John’s father (Jim) never really spoke about his experiences although he did write a small book, which he intended, only for his family: The book really only came to light some years after his death in 1983. John published it for the family in 1991 and the original hand written document is still in his possession. Titled “AS I RECALL or WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE WAR PA?” his story outlines many of the things that happened to him.
In 2006 John visited Hellfire Pass for Anzac Day. He returned from this visit with some understanding of the atrocities committed there and this visit and the book have greatly influenced John’s writing.
In his role as a teacher on Carnarvon School of the Air, John conducts a highly respected Anzac Day service each year for staff, parents and students designed to foster understanding and knowledge about Australia’s involvement in all military activities.