In Memory of David William (Digger) Barrett

Photo of David and BrianDavid Barrett was born in February 1922 and died on July 22, 2012. He was a Prisoner of War of the Japanese for three and a half years but lead a glorious life, enjoying each and every day—even those as a POW. These were black days of course but it was there that he learned to look upon each new day as another opportunity—to steal more food, to help a fellow prisoner or to take surreptitious revenge on their captors.

David never forgot this and towards the end of his life he mustered all his energy to make his actions of each day count towards the betterment of his fellow Ex-POWs or their widows as he fought for reparations. They got nothing from the Japanese, despite help from sections of the Japanese population and the United Nations, but were finally rewarded in some measure in 2001 through the Australian Government.

His last ambition was to write his life’s story. I was privileged to help him in this effort and David had his book, Digger’s Story—Surviving the Japanese POW camps was just the beginning, published and in his hand just a few days before he passed away.

David will be remembered for his enthusiasm and determination to live life to the fullest as well as his inclination to say exactly what was on his mind—regardless of the company.

Farewell dear friend.

Brian K Robertson