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I visit the Labaun War Memorial and Surrender Point with local expat Australian Peter Searle.

Peter discusses the Sandakan Death March, the greatest single atrocity committed against Australians in war. It is believed that almost
3,600 Indonesians, 1,787 Australians, and 641 British prisoners died at, or between, Sandakan and Ranau.

At Surrender Point on Labuan, the 32nd Japanese Southern Army surrendered to the 9th Division Australian Imperial Forces on 9th September 1945 which led to the end of World War II in Borneo.

The Australian 9th Division, Rats of Tobruk, were heavily involved in reconstructing British North Borneo and rebuilt and re-established a considerable amount of civil infrastructure. The division developed a warm relationship with the local people and its efforts were recognised by the incorporation of the division’s colour patch in the coat of arms of the new Colony of British Borneo. These arms were used until British Borneo became the Malaysian state of Sabah in 1963.

A big thank you to Historian, Lynette Silver for clarifying some historical points via email. For more information on any of the above history visit:

ABOUT LYNETTE

http://www.sandakan-deathmarch.com

Historical images: Australian War Memorial http://www.awm.gov.au/

A pretty ordinary copy of a 60 minutes story on the Sandakan Death March gives a little more insight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hXkE2CGneo

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