In 1945 a group of over 2000 Australian and British prisoners of the Japanese in Borneo were taken from Sandakan to Ranau.
Of the 2345 men, only six survived. Of those who died, most were never found.
At Labuan, Borneo, there is a war cemetery, containing the graves of the thousand men whose bodies were recovered. There is also a monument there with more than a thousand other names engraved on it - those who have no known grave. To some, the Sandakan Death March is Australia's 'Holocaust'.
There are virtually no people alive today who were on that particular Death March - only six survived the experience at the end of the war. But there are thousands of veterans, men and women, who were prisoners of the Japanese in various places. One of the most valuable outcomes will be for students to be visited by a Prisoner of War veteran, so that they can 'test' their knowledge and hear about the experience first hand.
This exercise will help students formulate appropriate questions to make best use of that experience.
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