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Sandakan MemorialPrint Page Print this page

30-January-2015
30-January-2015

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Russell Byers

The Sandakan Memorial was erected in memory of the Australian Prisoners of War who died on the Sandakan Death Marches during World War Two.

The Memorial sundial is made of carved and polished pink granite that rises in a long, low, oblong shape and incorporates a section of 40 panes of glass. The shape was inspired by the airfields that the men who are remembered by the memorial were forced to build by their Japanese captors.

There are also four distinct platforms, representing the four years the men spent in captivity. The markings in the stone recall Sabah, the Land Below the Winds, where Sandakan is located. On the summer and winter solstices and 11 November, the shadow cast by the sundial advances over three curved lines on the tiled base, marking the hours of the day. These shadows symbolise the passage of time and the permanence of memory.

The Sandakan Death Marches were a series of forced marches in Borneo from Sandakan to Ranau which resulted in the deaths of 2345 Allied prisoners of war held captive by the Empire of Japan during the Pacific campaign of World War Two in the Sandakan POW Camp. By the end of the war, of all the prisoners who had been incarcerated at Sandakan and Ranau, only six Australians survived, all of whom had escaped. It is widely considered to be the single worst atrocity suffered by Australian servicemen during the Second World War.

Location

Address:Fairbairn & Limestone Avenues, Australian War Memorial Sculpture Garden, Campbell, 2612
State:ACT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.281167
Long: 149.148469
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW2
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945
Monument Designer:Anne Ferguson

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 29th May, 2005
Front Inscription

IN MEMORY OF THE 1,787 AUSTRALIAN
PRISONERS OF WAR WHO DIED
IN THE SANDAKAN DEATH MARCHES, IN BORNEO
IN THE FINAL MONTHS
OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

ONLY SIX SURVIVED THIS ATROCITY

Back Inscription

Anne Ferguson

Sandakan Memorial
granite, sandstone, and glass
acquired under commission in 2005
ART92680

This memorial was unveiled on 29 May 2005
by the Hon De-Anne Kelly, MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs.

Designed as an accurate sundial, the memorial is rich in symbolism.  
The shape of the stone with the four steps carved in one side to represent
the number of years in captivity, was inspired by the airfields the
prisoners were sent to construct.  The swirling patterns in the granite
recall the winds and mountains of Borneo.  "the land beneath the wind "
The sundial marks the passage of time, and evokes our remembrance
of the past and of lives cut short.  Engraved lines trace the shadows
cast on the summer and winter solstices (the outer lines)
and on Remembrance Day (the inner line).

Source: MA,SKP
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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