News

Lindisfarne students trek through jungles of Borneo

Lindisfarne students making their way through the jungles of Borneo.
Lindisfarne students making their way through the jungles of Borneo. Contributed

NO ONE can ever really know how allied prisoners of war suffered when they died in the jungles of Borneo through Second World War.

But a group of 16 students, teachers and parents from Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School had a taste of it when they spent 12 days in Borneo on a Walking in the Footsteps of our Heroes trek.

Many hundreds of prisoners died on the jungle tracks between Sandakan and Ranau now known as the infamous Death Marches.

Renowned historian and leading authority on Second World War history of Sandakan and the death marches, Lynette Silver accompanied the group for the duration in Borneo.

She and her husband Neil shared their knowledge and experience, facilitating all logistical arrangements for the group.

The journey started in Sandakan with a visit to the stone, heritage-listed St Michael's Church with its magnificent stained glass Windows of Remembrance.

It was here that many of the prisoners of war spent the night before they walked to the Sandakan camp.

The campsite is now a peaceful memorial park, which commemorates the sacrifice and suffering endured by both Australian and British soldiers who were held by the Japanese as prisoners of war between 1942 and 1945.

Each member of the Lindisfarne group walked in honour a prisoner of war.

Throughout the trek, each POW's story was shared with the group in an emotional and poignant ceremony at the location where they died.

Memorial services were held at beautiful Kundasang War Memorial, at the Last Camp at Ranau and at Labuan Island off the coast of Brunei where the POWs are buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.

"The service at Kundasang War Memorial was particularly moving as it is located beneath the imposing Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia, which rises to a height of 4095.2m," a spokeswoman for the group said.

"Local legend says spirits of the dead ascend to its summit, protected by the clouds that envelop it.

"It is also said that if someone, who understands and respects this belief, undertakes an historical pilgrimage along the death march route to Mt Kinabalu, the spirit of one of the POWs will be liberated, to leave the protection of the mountain peak and return home."

Each member was entrusted with symbolically bringing home the spirit of one of the POWs.

The name of the POW and the person who walked to liberate his spirit is inscribed in a register.

This special act of remembrance continues until all the spirits have returned home.

"As the trek went on, I gained more and more respect for the brave and courageous soldiers that endured the harshest of conditions and still looked after their mates in the true Aussie spirit," said the youngest member of the trek, 13 year-old Jesse Layt.

Topics:  borneo lindisfarne anglican grammar school



Stoush erupts over asbestos claims at sugar mills

Exterior of Broadwater Sugar Mill. Photo Jerad Williams / The Northern Star

Union said sugar mills have been issued with safety notifications

VIDEO: Progressive Professor shakes up law at SCU

ALL RISE: Professor William MacNeil plays 'Billy the judge' in a moot court case at Southern Cross University on Sunday.

A FRESH approach to the oldest of university institutions is afoot.

Truck rolls over at North Tumbulgum

Emergency services have been called to a truck crash in North Tumbulgum.

Emergency services have been called to a truck crash

Local Partners

The Project will now be on six nights a week

CHANNEL Ten’s Logie winning news and entertainment program The Project is expanding with a special Sunday night edition and a new host.

Margot Robbie is unrecognisable in London

Margot, is that really you?

MARGOT Robbie looks completely unrecognisable as Queen Elizabeth I.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 finale predictions

Emilia Clarke in a scene from season 7 of Game of Thrones.

JON and Daenerys finally met. But what happens next?

Reese Witherspoon on being a ‘has-been’ at 36

Witherspoon’s career has never looked better but that didn’t stop people declaring her a “has-been”.

Reese on the ‘brutal’ article that called her a has-been at 36.

RECAP: Game of Thrones s7 e6 - Beyond the Wall

Kristofer Hivju, Kit Harington, Iain Glen, Paul Kaye and Joe Dempsie in a scene from Game of Thrones.

*Warning this story contains spoilers about today's new episode*

Paul Kelly announces massive Australian tour

Paul Kelly is going on a 16-date national tour in November.

Music legend thrills fans with the announcement of a massive tour.

Survivor twist bound to shock

Sunshine Coast mum-of-three Tara Pitt.

TARA Pitt benefited from a shock twist on Australian Survivor.

Residents fear sand mine sell out by State Minister

Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.Cou

Further testing undertaken on site, despite claims of significance

199 home sites approved in Evans Head

The Evans Head Manufactured Home Estate plans. Zoran Architecture.

Manufactured Home estate approved near aerodrome

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

Developer tears up couple's contract for new home

Jade and Edward Roberts were stung by the sunset clause on the first day of their honeymoon.

The developer has the right to do this under the sunset clause