Friday, August 28, 2009

Sandakan-Ranau Death March: Closing the chapter on last mystery

Ranau: The unveiling of the "Last Prisoner-of-war Camp Memorial here, Thursday, also "completes the last mystery surrounding the Death March."

State Culture, Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said this when officiating the ceremony attended by scores of relatives of the Australian and British POWs. The last mystery was the exact spot where the Death March ended.

Thursday's ceremony around a gorgeous memorial at Pialungan, Kg Kenipir, five miles (8.3km) south of Ranau town, exposed that best kept secret for over 64 years!

"If our surroundings can speak they'll tell a thousand tales," remarked Masidi, who said he was pleased that the beautiful piece of land was left untouched for more than half a century to enable Sabah to write the shared history between Sabah, Australia and Britain.

"The memorial unveiled at this 'The Last Camp' of the 1945 Death March symbolises the key elements of this tragic story," said Lynette Silver, who has been instrumental in uncovering the site information after 16 years of relentless research on the Death March.

"Embedded into the memorial's base are 1,047 rocks from the head waters of the Liwagu river which ran through the Last Camp - one for every prisoner of war who set out from Sandakan in the three death marches and did not survive," explained Lynette.

"The memorial itself features 183 rocks, one for each prisoner of war who died at this camp while the four rugged slabs of rock on the very top represent the four Australians who, with the help of the local people, escaped," Lynette added.

Continue reading (incl. pic) at: Sandakan-Ranau Death March: Closing the chapter on last mystery

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

our grandfater w.o. charles young
watson led the first group out
he reached ranau but died soon after.we wil remember him forever