Discovering Sabah’s World War Two sites

By | April 19, 2013

Discovering Sabah’s World War Two sites

I am station gravely in a gummy heat, my shirt sticking to my back, notwithstanding a fact I’m in a shadowy area of forest. It’s midst morning nonetheless it’s already breathless and steam is high here during Sandakan Memorial Park, in a Sabah segment of Malaysian Borneo.

Pic: Terence Carter.

Pic: Terence Carter.

I’ve assimilated a organisation of some 60 people, mostly Australian passengers from a Orion tour boat that has docked during Sandakan for a day. Two Australian women are laying a spray during a bottom of a black marble monument, another dual mount together, tears welling in their eyes, and arms related to comfort any other.

The 4 women are descendents of a 6 Australian organisation who survived a horrific Sandakan Death Marches in that 2,400 Australian and British Prisoners of War (POWs) died between Jan and Aug 1945, and they’re here, along with a rest of a group, to compensate their respects.

Sabah is best famous to many travellers as an outlandish pleasant finish that’s plentiful with wildlife and boasts some of a world’s best diving, snorkelling and hiking. Yet it’s also a site of some of a many horrific atrocities committed opposite POWs during a Second World War.

The shaggy park, now soaring with lofty trees from that we mark midget squirrels leaping from bend to branch, was a plcae of a strange Sandakan Prisoner of War camp, where some 2,700 Aussie and Brit soldiers were brought by a Japanese after a tumble of Singapore in Feb 1942 to build an airstrip.

Some 300 were eliminated to other camps, with a residue subjected to a many heartless of conditions. Sick, weak, starving, and over-worked, pang from pleasant ulcers and malaria, they were forced over 3 perpetual durations to substitute some 250 kilometres from Sandakan to Renau. They possibly died or were killed, mostly in horrific circumstances, on their approach or on arrival, with only 6 Australian organisation surviving, after evading into a jungle and being helped by internal people.

Every year, thousands of Australians and British revisit a sites, and experiencing these places with comparison Australians who have a tie to a comfortless events can be really moving. If you’re travelling in Borneo and would like to compensate your respects, these are a pivotal sites of decoration in Sabah we should experience:

Sandakan Memorial Park
It’s value commencement your revisit by reading a arrangement play during a tiny though constrained museum in a normal wooden pavilion during a centre of a park so that we fast benefit an bargain of a ruin that a 2,400 Australian and British soldiers went by in this clearly willing forest. The black and white photos and testimonies exhibit how really opposite it was when they were detained here in a shutting years of a war.

Pic: Terence Carter.

Pic: Terence Carter.

Labuan War Memorial
Nothing can utterly ready oneself for this huge area of manicured lawns with quarrel on quarrel of marble headstones etched with a many touching of messages – there are roughly 4,000 Commonwealth soldiers buried here in total. Jalan Tanjung Purun, 2kms easterly of town, Pulau Labuan.

Kundasang War Memorial
The lovingly tended Australian and English gardens here commemorate a prisoners of fight who died here during a finish of a horrific Death Marches. Protected by high walls, any garden is utterly opposite to a other, a Australian garden comprising a sprawling grass with flower beds, modelled on a standard suburban garden, a other a quintessentially British lodge garden. Visitors are invited initial to an air-conditioned room to watch a touching Australian documentary, that follows a new tour of a organisation of Australians, including immature soldiers, re-tracing a route. Equally touching are a photographs, articles, letters, and several outfit on display. There are lists of those who died on a Marches in a third area with a prolonged arbour shading a pond, with stately views of Mount Kinabalu. Various reports explain that a soldiers came to hatred Mount Kinabalu, ceaselessly in their sights and representing utterly a opposite plea than it does today. On a KK-Ranau Highway, nearby a connection to a Mesilau Nature Resort, Renau.

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