Dr. Peter Hendry has accomplished many things, from running a private practice in Australia until 85 years young, co authoring a book that is still considered groundbreaking in clinical pathology and pioneering life saving techniques for blood transfusions in dying babies. He is also my great grandfather and my biggest hero. My great grandfather was a Captain in the 2/10 Field Ambulance and a prisoner of war in Changi and Burma, but that’s not why he’s my hero. It’s not that he saved lives or he was a WW2 vet it’s that he didn’t know me, the first time I met him and I was able to remember, he didn’t know who I was. To him I was the “the boy” then he learnt who I was. Then he started to talk to me, tell me about his time, at that moment I knew I needed to know, needed to know everything. I stayed up until 2 AM that night, researching and all I found were a group of grainy YouTube videos.
I got him to open like a book, everything, the good the bad the everything. He told me about being a POW and building the bridge over the river Kwai in Burma. He told me how they marked the miles with the body’s of the dead. He told me how I got my name and how my dad hated school and surfed every day, he told me everything I wanted to know. But I still needed more, at that moment I started to fall in love with history, specifically WW2 and the history of my family.
My great grandfather was not only family, not only a POW, not only an life saver, he was a hero, my hero.