District 201V2, Victoria, AUSTRALIA


Sandakan-Ranau Death March

Sandakan logo

(authorised by TYK Adventure Tours and Lynette Ramsay Silver)


What are death marches?

Sandakan and the Death Marches, 1942-1945.

Imagine this. It is May 1945. Clad only in ragged loin-cloths, over 500 skeletal creatures, barely recognisable as human, struggle to their feet at the Sandakan POW Compound, on Sabah's north-east coast.

Three long years in captivity, half of them on starvation rations and with little or no medical attention, have taken their toll. The grimy, wasted bodies of these once fit and strapping Australian and British servicemen are covered in sores and scabies, their filthy hair and beards matted and lice-infested.

Many are suffering from tropical ulcers, some so large that shin bones are clearly visible. Others, bloated from beriberi, lumber along on sausage-like legs. They are bound for Ranau, a small village on the flanks of Mt Kinabalu, South East Asia's highest peak, situated 250 kilometres away to the west, in the rugged Borneo jungle interior.

For more information, please click this link


Sandakan Memorial Scholarship Scheme A Living Memorial

This is a scheme established by the Trustees of the Sandakan memorial Windows, to enable promising students from remote Kadazandusun villages in Sabah's interior to receive secondary education at St Michael's School, under an arrangement pioneered in 2002. Without this help, even the most gifted village students cannot hope to pass a nation-wide exam to enter advanced colleges and universities - the passport to a better life. Girls, in particular, will benefit from the Scheme. Without a scholarship, their only option is to remain in their villages, their potential unfulfilled.

This Scheme does not require vast amounts of money. Our Australian dollar goes a long way in Sabah and, by our standards, the cost of board, lodging, schooling and extra tuition, especially in English, is extremely low. In Sandakan, all this, plus travel to and from the village twice a year, can be bought with just $1,000.

A high percentage of Sabahans are Christian. This includes the Kadazandusun people. It is especially fitting that this Scheme is helping students from this minority ethnic group, as these were the people who helped our POWs on the death marches and at Ranau. All donations, however small, will help - a bucket is soon filled by many small drops. you can help make a difference. If you wish to participate, please contact Lions Club of Geelong Breakfast Inc. There are no overheads at all for this Scheme. Every cent goes directly into the education fund.

Pamphlets explaining the aims of the Scheme are available from Lions Club of Geelong Breakfast Inc.

Pete Johnston, a member of the Lions Breakfast Club is undertaking this trek from 1st November to 15th November 2010. Pete did this trek 2years ago.
The Lions Breakfast Club contributes $1,000.00 per year to the Scholarship Scheme.

The Lions Club of Leopold also contributes to this Scholarship, and Secretary Jenny Hume and Lion Noel McSween did this trek in 2009.

Lion Pete is available to talk to any club interested in this subject.

Peter Johnston with Sandakan students:-

pete sandakan