Wwii Veterans Return To Brunei To Dedicate New Memorial

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10th December 2008, 12:47pm - Views: 720

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


Wednesday 10 December 2008 


Veterans of one of Australia’s final campaigns in the Pacific during the Second World War are

today beginning their journey back to site of the Australian landings in Brunei to dedicate a new

memorial honouring Australia’s efforts in the campaign, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan

Griffin, said today.

Last night Mr Griffin hosted a function in Brisbane to farewell the six veterans who will represent

the 20,000 Australians involved in Operation OBOE 6 at the memorial unveiling.

“Sixty-three years on we are fortunate to have veterans of the Brunei campaign able to take part

in the Australian Government’s commemorative mission to dedicate the new Brunei-Australia

Memorial,” Mr Griffin said.

“This will be the first time most of these veterans have returned to the site of the landings—one

of the largest amphibious assaults undertaken by Australians in the Second World War.  It will

be a poignant event for them.

“The six veterans––including former members of the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian

Army and the Royal Australian Air Force––were nominated by Australian ex-service

organisations to represent the veteran community,” Mr Griffin said. 

The Brunei-Australia Memorial will be dedicated on Saturday 13 December at the site of the

Allied landings at Muara Beach, Pantai Muara, Brunei Darussalam.

The successful campaign, involving land, sea and air forces, was part of Australia’s last actions

in the Second World War that ended the Japanese occupation of Brunei and North Borneo in


The six veterans will also visit the Labuan War Cemetery in Malaysia, where the 114

Australians who died in the operation are buried, and Surrender Point where the Japanese

surrendered to the Australians after the war had ended. 

The commemorative mission is being conducted through the Australian Government’s

commemorations program, Saluting their Service.

For information on the memorial, Brunei campaign and veterans travelling on the mission visit

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

Editor’s note: a list of veteran representatives follows.

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

Veteran representatives




Mr William (Bill) Corey

2/43rd Infantry Battalion,

Australian Army

Rostrevor, SA

Mr Stephen (Steve) Gooch

HMAS Kanimbla,

Royal Australian Navy

Arana Hills, Qld

Mr Ronald (Ron) Hatch

2/12th Commando Squadron,

Australian Army

Lesmurdie, WA

Mr Rex Kawelmacher

2/17th Infantry Battalion,

Australian Army

Shellharbour, NSW

Mr Rex Smith

25 Air Stores Park, 

Royal Australian Air Force

West Ulverstone, Tas

Mr Gordon Verney

1st Australian Beach Group,

Royal Australian Navy

Burleigh Waters, Qld

NOTE:  Biographies of the veterans are available on request.

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