Memorial site of Sandakan-Ranau Death March
The memorial was created to honour the deceased Australian and British servicemen of the Sandakan-Ranau Death Marches and is known as the last prisoners of war (POW) encampment. Dr. Othman Minudin, the landowner, has donated the historical land as a memorial space for the campground. On August 27, 2009, the memorial was officially revealed.
The Death March, which took place between January and August 1945 is considered to be the single worst atrocity committed against Australian soldiers during World War II. Only six Australians survived their internment in Sandakan and Ranau. About 1,047 British and Australian prisoners of war were involved and the Sandakan-Ranau Dead Marches only ended at Kialungan, Kampung Kenipir – The Last Camp on 27 August 1945.
On the foundation of the memorial monument, 1,047 rocks from the Liwagu River were put, one for each POW who died in three death marches from Sandakan. Another 183 rocks are embedded on the memorial, one for each POW who died in the final camp and four on top to signify four Australians who managed to escape the atrocity with the help of locals.
The place is open for public to visit but a personalized historical tour would be more meaningful. Visitors can enquire about historical POW tours from selected tour operators that specialized in this niche interest.
The best way to reach this place is by chartering a private vehicle or self-drive.