Sandakan Commemorative Service

2021 Service Information TO BE CONFIRMED

11:00am- Service to be held at Strathdale Park, Crook Street, Strathdale

The Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc. with the Post 1975 Veterans Central Victoria Group officiating, will conduct its Annual Sandakan Commemorative Service on Sunday 7th March 2021 at 11:00 am. This will be held at the Bendigo Sandakan Memorial in Strathdale Park, just off McIvor Road, Bendigo.

Find the location by clicking the button below.

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View the 2020 newspaper article about the 2020 Sandakan Service: View Article


Origins of Sandakan- Australian War Memorial

Australian prisoners were sent to Sandakan in 1942 to build an airstrip. At first they were treated reasonably well. Gradually, however, rations were reduced and bashings increased.

By late 1944, with Allied forces advancing toward Borneo, the Japanese decided to send about 2,000 Australian and British prisoners westward to Ranau, in Borneo’s rugged interior. Weak and sick prisoners staggered for about 260 kilometres along jungle tracks. Many died on the way, their bodies never recovered. Those unable to continue were killed; those too weak to march had been left behind in Sandakan, where all died or were killed. Only six – all Australians – out of about a thousand sent to Ranau survived the war.

The Sandakan “death march” remains the greatest single atrocity committed against Australians in war.

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