Sandakan Prisoner of War MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

A plaque commemorates the 1800 Australians and 750 British Troops who were prisoners of war at the notorious Sandakan Death Camp during World War Two. 

After the fall of Singapore and Borneo to the Japanese, a prisoner of war camp was established just outside of Sandakan to house approximately 750 British and more than 1650 Australian prisoners who were sent to the camp during the period 1942-43. In 1945, when the Japanese started to realise that the war may have been lost, and the Allies were closing in, the emaciated prisoners were force marched, in three separate marches, to the village of Ranau in the jungle, 250 kilometres away, under the shadows of Mount Kinabalu.

Only six Australians of the 2400 prisoners survived the "death march" - they survived because they were able to escape from the camp at Ranau, or escaped during the march from Sandakan. No British prisoners survived.


Address:82 - 94 Comur Street, Soldiers Memorial Hall, Yass, 2582
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.841418
Long: 148.910896
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


Front Inscription

In memory of 1800 Australians of the 8th Division A.I.F. and 750 British troops.  They fought gallantly in the defence of Malaya and Singapore during World War II.  Following the fall of Singapore, they became prisoners of the Japanese and were transported to Sandakan in British North Borneo, now Sabah, in 1942 to construct an airfield, where 900 died of ill-treatment.

By the end of 1944, when Allied forces wwere within striking distance of Sandakan, the Japanese commad ordered the removal of prisoners inland to Ranau 165 miles (265 kilometres) west.  On 29 January 1945, 470 prisoners guarded by 500 Japanese marched towards Ranau.  Those unable to carry on were killed.

The second march comprising 532 prisoners left Sandakan on 29 May 1945.  183 arrived at Ranua on 26 June 1945.  Only eight survived from the first march.  Of the 288 prisoners left at Sandakan there were no survivors.

On 1 August 1945, the surviving 33 prisoners at Ranua were massacred.  Six who escaped were rescued by special forces.

This memorial honours those men who enlisted from the Yass Shire of New South Wales.

Reg Bobbin, Harry Longley, Roland Mabin, Stan Weatherby

We will remember them

Sandakan Memorial Foundation




Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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