1995 marked the 50th Anniversary of the end of WWII. It was at this time that Australian Prisoners of War (POW’s) being held by the Japanese were released. The 1995 50 Cent released into circulation commemorates the life of Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop and his extraordinary spirit and the measures he took to unselfishly help his fellow soldiers and patients.
Sir Edward Weary Dunlop was a surgeon in the Australian Army during World War II. In March 1942 Weary and his troops were captured by the Japanese and put to work to build the Burma-Siam railway, a feat over over 400 kilometres. He commanded a force of over a thousand POW men and his courage, compassion and dedication often kept them alive. Sir Dunlop was knighted in 1969 and passed away in 1993 at the age of 85.
This dodecagonal (12 sided) 31.51mm copper (75%) nickel (25%) coin weighs in at 15.55 grams with a plain edge. The reverse depicts Sir Edward Weary Dunlop and barbed wire representing his time in the POW camp. It was designed by Louis Laumen along with RAM designer Horst Hahne. The standard obverse features the Raphael Maklouf portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
15,869,200 of these coins were issued into circulation. It was also released in a PNC jointly with Australia Post of which there was a mintage of 154,641. It was included in the Mint set for 1995 of which 96,079 were issued and the proof set with a mintage of 48,537.
This 1995 50c was also re-struck in 2003 (still with 1995 date) for inclusion in a private issue commemorating the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps Centenary packaged with a medallion.