2~13 May 2011 : Sandakan Death March

May 19, 2011 06:39

A great big ‘thank you’ to Tham and his wonderful guides – Peter, Maik, Duin, Sudile and Hisha who took us through their beautiful countryside.  My trekking buddies of Grace, Kate and Lilly were great company, also the knowledge that was learnt of the hardships that our brave men suffered at the hands of the Japanese, these facts were told by Lynette and Neil Silver whose knowledge was incredible and very much appreciated.Tham, everything you and your staff did was first class, the enthusiasm and sense of humour was nothing short of inspirational.Good luck to you all and keep up the good work.

Yours sincerely,
Narelle McFadden

Mon, 16 May 2011 21:26:02 +1000

Dr Grace FunkA very special Thank You to Trek Proprietor Mr Tham Yau Kong and his team Duin, Maik, Peter, Sudile and Isha for making this trek so comfortable and accommodating – and to Lynette Silver for her commentaries which made history come alive and Neil Silver for his humour and helping hand. To my fellow trekkers: Narelle McFadden, Kate Fleming and Lilly Van Epen, thank you for the friendship forged. 

It was not for the physical challenge nor to seek adventures in the Jungles of Sandakan-Ranau that I trekked this sacred path. In the dark history of WWII in this then unknown part of the world the majestic tropical rainforest ran supreme. It was here Australian and British soldiers were held prisoners by the Japanese Army largely unknown to the world until late 1990s when Sandakan: A Conspiracy of Silence researched and written by Lynette Ramsay Silver was published.

It was here I was born long after the war had ended. I had known about this war and the plight of the White POWs from stories my parents told about their experience of the war though not in detail as told in Lynette’s book which unveiled horrors unimaginable that human beings could do to another.

In commemoration of the POWs I trekked the Death March route in whose footsteps I pay homage in the inhospitable terrains which offered unfathomable human miseries courtesy of the Japanese Army decades before: hunger, thirst, fatigue, indignities, illnesses, torture, and death.

In honour of the families I dedicate my Death March trek to: Private Robert Charles Harris, Private Robert John Greenwood, Gunner Wright Albert Sheard, Corporal Norman Arnold Allie.

POWs by the hundreds perished in abject conditions on the Death March in 1945 and all unreservedly deserve acknowledgment and remembrance.

Lest We Forget
Dr Grace Funk



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