Wwii Diggers Unveil New Memorial In Brunei

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13th December 2008, 12:01pm - Views: 666

Government Government Department Of Veterans' Affairs 1 image

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2602 

Telephone 02 6277 7820  Facsimile 02 6273 4140

The Hon Alan Griffin MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs


Saturday 13 December 2008 


After 63 years, Australian Second World War veterans have unveiled a memorial dedicated to the

Australians who died helping to end the Japanese occupation of Brunei and North Borneo in 1945, the

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, announced today.

The Brunei-Australia Memorial was unveiled during a moving ceremony by Minister Griffin and veterans

of the campaign – Bill Corey and Steve Gooch.

“Six veterans travelled to Brunei for the dedication of the memorial, which commemorates the actions of

20,000 Australians who were part of the complex operations in Brunei and North Borneo involving land,

air and sea forces to end the Japanese occupation in the area.  These operations were one of the final

actions for Australia in the war,” Mr Griffin said.

“We are fortunate to have veterans of the campaign here at the dedication representing the Australians

who served in the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force during

the campaign.

“Today as we unveil the new memorial we honour Australia’s efforts and the cooperation of the people of

Brunei at the site of these landings,” he said.

“The memorial overlooks Muara Beach, Brunei Darussalam, where members of the Australian 9th

Division landed during Operation OBOE 6, part of the largest amphibious assault carried out by

Australians during the Second World War.

“The black Australian granite memorial especially honours the 114 Australians who were killed and 221

who were wounded during Operation OBOE 6.  The inscription on the plaque reads ‘1945 in memory’,

surrounded by the words ‘Brunei-Australia Memorial’ in English, Malay and Jawi.  Alongside is an

interpretive panel describing the Australian actions in Brunei.

“On Sunday 10 June 1945, units of the Australian 9th Division landed at Muara Beach, and advanced

through the jungle to Brunei town to drive the Japanese out.

“On neighbouring Labuan Island the Australians came ashore at Victoria Harbour and faced fierce

Japanese resistance.  The Australians fought through the mud and jungle and within days secured the

island.  More than 380 Japanese were killed on Labuan,” said Mr Griffin.

Mr Griffin said history shows that the landings were a great success, and the Australian forces earned

respect for their determination and courage in the campaign.

Mr Griffin was joined by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel Dato Paduka Haji

Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Deputy Minister of Defence, representing the Brunei Government at

the ceremony.

Media inquiries: 

Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

Erin Kennedy, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, in Brunei 0420 962 506

The VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a

week on 1800 011 046.

To receive the Minister’s media releases automatically by email subscribe at minister.dva.gov.au/subscribe.htm

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