Syd Krantz gained his medical qualifications in Adelaide and England and practised as an honorary surgeon at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He enlisted in 1941 and was posted to Malaya, where he worked with Dr Alan Hobbs during the Japanese assault.
As a POW Krantz served as a medical officer in jungle camps on the Thailand to Burma Railway. In a difficult and frustrating role in near impossible conditions he worked for the lives of his men using improvised instruments and severely limited supplies of drugs. As conditions deteriorated and Japanese demands for labour to build the railway increased, Krantz defended seriously sick men from being made to work, often placing his own safety before that of his patients.
Krantz’s efforts were highly regarded by those who witnessed the miracles he performed, and his deeds (as are those of Alan Hobbs) are commemorated near the statue to their colleague Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop in Melbourne.