In 2009, the Vietnam Swans were honoured to play the Thailand Tigers in their ANZAC Match at which three ex POWs attended, including the late Bill Haskell.
We also attended the ANZAC Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass. And so did Margaret Hadfield who, last week, left the note below on the Vietnam Swans website.
“I am a military artist from the where I am the Principal Artist and Director. I was at Hellfire Pass in 2009 for the Dawn Service as well as the Kanchanaburi Service.
“I have produced a painting which includes Bill Haskell. This painting was a finalist in the as well as the Fishers Ghost Art Prize (Campbelltown) 2010.
“I am wishing to contact relatives to let them know of the work which Bill is the centre of the painting. The work is called, Revisiting Hellfire Pass. I did not know his name but one of my students saw the photo of him in an ATO magazine recently.
“He is a real hero. I am very tired of footballers being called heroes so I am saddened to hear of his death but hope to hear from his descendants.”
The Vietnam Swans replied to Margaret advising that we had passed on her message to the Thailand Tigers on her behalf. Margaret wrote back:
“Thanks for your response. As I said, I would just like to contact the family members to let them know of the artwork which I did when I did not know Bill’s name.
“I was also at both services (Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass and the Cemetery Service at Kanchanaburi) on that very HOT day.
“My partner, Dr Kathryn Spurling, who was travelling with me is the author of , a book of the ship, HMAS Perth which was sunk in the Java Sea. Many of the survivors were sent to the Thai Burma Railway. Kathryn was also on the recent TV series, . She was paying homage to the men in her book.”
The Vietnam Swans are pleased to report that the Thailand Tigers have forwarded the relevant contact details of Bill’s relatives through to Margaret.
Related items of interest:
- To see the paintings of the 35 finalists for the 2010 Gallipoli Art Prize, including the winning entry, The Dead March Here Today by Raymond Arnold, .
- Bill Haskell, ex POW, passes on – as does his message. (Vietnam Swans’ website)
- Ex POW, Bill Haskell and his speech on ANZAC Day (2009). (Vietnam Swans’ website)
- Presentation re 2009 ANZAC Day in Kanchanaburi. (Vietnam Swans’ website)