Tamworth Sandakan Memorial

Description

 

The Sandakan Memorial, a scale model in bronze, is located in the centre of Anzac Park, Tamworth on the path leading from the Anzac Park Gates installed in the 1950s. 

'It is a topographical model showing the route of the death marches between Sandakan and Ranua. Mt. Kinabula, the highest mountain in South East Asia, is in the background'. (Tamworth RSL Sub Branch website)

The chairman of the Sandakan Memorial Foundation Limited unveiled the memorial and Father John Rogers (OFM Pow Sandakan and Kutching) dedicated it on 31 July 1994. 
The Foundation was assisted by Tamworth Council, Tamworth RSL, NBN3 and Tamworth and district residents. Tamworth was selected as a site of the northern region memorial because of its geographical location within the North-west of the state. Over 150 men of the northern region died at Sandakan and Ranua.

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 northern region of New South Wales.
We will remember them Sandakan Memorial Foundation'.

Inscription

 

[Plaque 1] 
'The sculptured terrain of Sabah illustrates the route of the death marches, shown by a bronze ribbon, between Sandakan and Ranau which was substantially swamp and dense jungle in 1945'.

[Plaque 2]

This memorial was dedicated by Father John Brendan Rogers O.F.M.
Eight Division A.I.F. Chaplain, Sandakan and Kuching.
This memorial was unveiled by the Mayor of the City of Tamworth, Councillor David John 31st July, 1994'.

[Plaque 3] 

'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 were within striking distance of Sandakan.
the Japanese command 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 Ranua.  Those unable to carry on were killed.
The second march comprisinf 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.

Address
Anzac Park
East Tamworth NSW 2340
Recorded by
Graham Wilson OAM
Established date
1993-1994
Dedication date
31-Jul-1994
Conflict/s
Second World War, 1939-1945
Prisoners of War

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