SERVICE: Fall of Singapore commemorative service organiser Bob Toose speaks to the crowd of about 70 who attended the annual event. Picture: Les SmithWAGGA and district men who died in the Fall of Singapore or as prisoners of war afterwards were honoured at a commemorative service on Wednesday.
About 70 people attended the service at the Sandakan Memorial in the Victory Memorial Gardens, 75 years to the day after Japanese forces inflicted one of the heaviest Allied defeats of World War II.
Keynote speaker Michael Johnston said 22,000 Australian soldiers were captured at Singapore, while 7500 Allied soldiers, including Australians, died in the fighting leading up to the February 15, 1942, surrender.
“Of the 22,000 Australians made prisoner of war, nearly one in three, being about 8000, died in captivity,” Mr Johnston said.
He said among the men who died in the fighting were WA Folkard, RF Howard, GW Miller (all Wagga), KF Murphy (Marrar) and LA Tipping (Coolamon).
Wagga remembers Fall of Singapore 75 years on | Video | Photos Ray Smith raises the Australian flag during the Fall of Singapore service. Pictures: Les Smith
Wagga RSL sub-branch secretary Ken May pays his respects after laying a wreath on the Sandakan Memorial
Military personnel and civilians at Wagga’s Fall of Singapore service.
Corporal David Matthews sounds The Last Post
Ken May lays a wreath on the Sandakan Memorial on behalf of the Wagga sub-branch of the RSL
Korean War veterans Harry Edmonds (left) and Alan Evans
Saluting after laying wreaths during Wagga’s Fall of Singapore commemorative service are, from left: Lieutenant Commander Wayne Langworthy Royal Australian Navy, Colonel Mick Garraway Australian Army and Wing Commander Ross Magno Royal Australian Air Force
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey lays a wreath on the Sandakan Memorial on behalf of the city.
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