THE HON DAN TEHAN MP | 27 January 2017
Australia to recognise the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore and Australian prisoners of war
A national service commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore and the service and sacrifice of all Australian Prisoners of War will be held on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 11.00am, at the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria.
Nineteen Australian Ex-prisoners of War will travel to Ballarat to join the National Commemorations organised by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in association with the Trustees of the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial.
Members of the public are welcome to attend.
A service to dedicate a new memorial, the Garden of the Grieving Mother, to the families of service men and women killed in action will take place earlier in the morning at 9.30am at the Arch of Victory in Sturt Street, Ballarat. It will be hosted by the Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour Committee and livestreamed to the National Ex-Prisoner of War Memorial.
The Malayan Campaign, which ended with the Fall of Singapore, lasted from 8 December 1941 to 15 February 1942 when Allied forces in Singapore laid down their arms.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said those who surrendered were held captive, first at Changi and, as the war continued, in locations across South East and East Asia, including Japan.
“On the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore we honour all those who served in South East Asia and the Pacific, including some 1800 Australians who lost their lives or were listed as missing in action in the fighting for Malaya and Singapore,” Mr Tehan said.
“We also honour some 15,000 Australians who became prisoners of war and more than 1,300 who were wounded.”
“Our Second World War veterans made great sacrifices for their country and this year the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore is an important opportunity for all Australians to acknowledge their service and sacrifice.”
Details about the commemorations in Ballarat are available on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.