SAND from the very beach where Japan signed their surrender in 1945 was sprinkled across the Sandakan memorial in Wagga’s Victory Memorial Gardens on Saturday to mark the 70th Victory in the Pacific Day.
Wagga’s Steve Trood, a former regular member of the Australian Army, collected the sand while tracing the 105-kilometre Sandakan death march last year, which was taken by some 2343 Allied prisoners of war (POW) in 1945. Just six Australians survived the march from the POW camp to Ranau as WWII came to a close.
Mr Trood – one of more than 20 Australians to complete the trek, organised by the RSL Life Care and Soldier On – addressed the 90-strong crowd at the weekend, before sprinkling the sand he brought home from Labuan Island over the Sandakan memorial. The Riverina Anglican College principal, Dr Ian Grant, made the keynote address, before Wagga RSL sub-branch president, Kevin Kerr, led The Ode and the sound of bagpipes closed the milestone service.
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