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Badge

From the Collection of Wangaratta RSL Sub Branch 2-4 Templeton Street Wangaratta Victoria

Description
Circular badge with green background and black text and figures. Six soldiers are silhouetted next to a tree. Safety pin clasp on back.
Size
5.8cm diameter
Object Registration
277
Keywords
pow, world war two, death march, sandakan death marches, borneo
Historical information
Badge commemorating the Sandakan death marches, one of the worst atrocities suffered by Australian troops during WWII.
When Made
unknown
Significance
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.
Inscriptions & Markings
"LEST WE FORGET"
"Sandakan Ranau / Death March"
Last updated
18 Apr 2019 at 4:44PM