Monday, August 29, 2011

British heroes of Sandakan-Ranau Death Marches remembered

There was a solemn air at the Kundasang War Memorial as large crowds gathered to remember British prisoners of war (POWs) who fell in the infamous 1945 Sandakan-Ranau death marches.

Local dignitaries, led by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, and top brass from the British army, led by Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery Major-General CC Wilson, were present at the ceremony to pay tribute to the fallen heroes.

A total of 641 British PoWs died in the Sandakan-Ranau death marches.

A series of forced marches through marsh land and dense jungles in Borneo also caused the deaths of over 2,400 allied PoWs.

Of the figure, many also died in prison camps in North Borneo (Sabah) after they were captured by the Japanese during World War II.

Only six people, all Australian servicemen, survived the horror after they managed to escape.

“This is a simple yet important ceremony to remember all those who sacrificed their lives for a Sabah that we now cherish,” Dr Yee said.

Describing the event as a very moving ceremony, Gen Wilson said while all these were history, the past continues to haunt people these days.

“We had not really understood what the ordeal was sixty-six years ago until Major Tulloch John did all this research and we came to know that the Royal Artillery suffered very badly.

“The death march is a terrible thing to have happened,” he said.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: British heroes of Sandakan-Ranau Death Marches remembered

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