Corporal Rodney Breavington & Private Victor Lawrence GalePrint Page
The Bandiana World War Two memorial is specifically dedicated to the lives of Corporal Rodney Breavington and Private Victor Lawrence Gale. The monument comprises of two obelisks joined at the base, engraved only with the surnames of the men.
Corporal Rodney Breavington and Private Victor Gale escaped from Singapore in May 1942 by stealing a fishing boat and attempting to sail to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). After an epic voyage of nearly 2000 kilometres, and near their destination, they were picked up by a Japanese warship and returned to Changi in July.
After their recapture and the recapture of two British prisoners, the Selarang Barracks POWs (which numbered around 15000) refused to sign a pledge not to escape, and were forced to crowd in the areas around the barracks square for nearly five days with little water and no sanitation. Corporal Rodney Breavington, Private Victor Gale and the two British prisoners were executed with Breavington pleading for the life of Gale who he said was only acting under orders.
The executions failed to break the spirit of the Selarang Barracks prisoners but the commanders finally capitulated on 5 September when their men started to fall ill and die from dysentery. Upon signing the pledge, the men were allowed to return to the barracks buildings.
Corporal Breavington's action inspired a poem the 'Corporal and his Pal' by one of the witnesses to the executions.
|Address:||Anderson Road, Royal Australian Ordnance Corps Memorial Park, Bandiana, 3694|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -36.147317|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.