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Sabah Salute – We Will Not Forget

sabah group river
Congratulations to the Sabah Salute expedition team on the successful completion of their death march trek.
The 14 strong expedition team comprised officers and soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Artillery, both Regular and Territorial Army, male and female. Rohan kindly provided support to the expedition with Expedition shirtstrouserspants and Drylocker bags which were used throughout the expedition.
In addition to the trek enough money has been raised to sponsor an orang-utan for the next five years at the Sepilok Reserve .
Read more from the intrepid trekkers
Read more… Sabah Salute – Lest We Forget
Read more… Sabah Salute – The Journey Begins
Read more… Sabah Salute – Team Enters Brunei
Read more… Sabah Salute – Crocodile Dundee
Read more… Sabah Salute – Really Sweaty Work
Read more… Sabah Salute – Bus Journey!
Read more… Sabah Salute – Endangered Primate
Read more… Sabah Salute – City of Sandakan
Read more… Sabah Salute – Blazing Saddles!
Read more… Sabah Salute – A Gentle Trek
Read more… Sahab Salute – In the News
Read more… Sabah Salute – The Final March
Read more… Sabah Salute – Expedition Success
Sabah Salute Expedition Photos on the Rohantime Gallery

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Sabah Salute – Expedition Success

Team at Last Campsite, Malaysian Army a few guides, owner of the land the memorial was built on, General Wilson and British DA for China
“It has been said that life can be likened to a piece of string with knots in it,”
“the knots being those moments that live in the mind forever, the intervals being hazy, half recalled and eventually forgotten. This expedition, for all of us, I hope will become one of those knots.
It has been an honour and an absolute privilege to lead the team on this expedition; especially given its historic significance. I hope that we have honoured the fallen in an appropriate manner and let them know that they are truly not forgotten.
And so now it’s time to thank all those who have helped make this expedition a success.
Firstly, I would like to thank the British High Commission, Brunei Garrison, Sabah Tourist Board and our sponsors for making this expedition feasible. In particular I would like to thank Rohan for supporting us. The durability of the kit speaks for itself. We have put it through its paces and it has protected us from the suns powerful rays, very persistent insects (including leeches) and the meanest vegetation on the planet whilst still looking presentable. Perhaps the unsung hero is the boxer short which almost to man meant we didn’t get chaffing. No mean feat.
“Thank you to Fitzy expedition photographer. He is keen to make photographing wildlife a career.”
Fitzy our photographerOn behalf of the team I would also like to thank the trekking company TYK (www.sandakan-deathmarch.com). Throughout the planning and implementation of the expedition Tham and his guides have offered advice, provided logistic support and ensured we didn’t get lost in the jungle. Without them providing potable water we would have fallen at the first hurdle on day one of the road walk due to the heat. It was also great to meet with Capt Rizal and his team from the Malaysian Artillery.
Finally, the biggest thank you goes to the team. I am really proud of what you have all achieved and know that at times, and in different ways, it has been a challenge to each of you. Your idiosyncrasies have made us smile, laugh and kept us entertained. Whether that has been by accidentally stepping on a Fire Ants nest, planting dead snakes in peoples beds, losing a bet and having to eat a bowl of Fish Head Soup or playing the bagpipes it has made the expedition team what it was.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Sabah Salute Blog.”
Claire Curry – Expedition Leader.
 

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Sabah Salute – Fitting Tribute

Lest we forget
Lest We Forget
On the outskirts of a dusty and traffic ridden town is a small piece of tranquility. The Kundasang War Memorial is the fitting tribute to the Commonwealth soldiers who died as a result of the Death Marches. The high walls that surround the memorial cut out the bustling noise and they protect the silence that lies within.
Contemplation Garden
The Contemplation Garden displays many dark granite slabs upon the walls with the names of all of the fallen and this area has a length of water upon which you can see the reflection of Mount Kinabalu. In addition there are individual Australian, Bornean and British gardens. The British garden contains roses, a tartan walkway, thistles, leeks and many other plants and flowers that represent ‘back home’; it is here that the memorial and dedication ceremony took place.
Unveiling of memorial
Many Malaysian officials and military figures from all nations arrived amongst over 100 guests to take part in the service to remember the fallen; the date of 27th August is particularly poignant as it is when the last POW was executed (12 days after Japan had surrendered). Two members of the team each played the bagpipes and bugle throughout the ceremony and the audience had many moments in order to reflect.  The Royal Regiment of Artillery Memorial was duly unveiled which now provides the Royal Regiment with a dedicated tribute to the fallen.
The Sabah Salute team has completed what it set out to achieve. The retracing of the Death March provided the physical realisation of the atrocities and the ceremony allowed the team to reflect upon the horrific actions that had taken place during WWII, many of these happening on the soil that we had recently walked across.  The team leaves Borneo with mixed emotions. There is jubilation that we succeeded in re-tracing the Death March and the hope that, as we return to Britain, there are many spirits who are returning home with us.
                                                                                Charles May
Follow the intrepid trekkers
Read more… Sabah Salute – Lest We Forget
Read more… Sabah Salute – The Journey Begins
Read more… Sabah Salute – Team Enters Brunei
Read more… Sabah Salute – Crocodile Dundee
Read more… Sabah Salute – Really Sweaty Work
Read more… Sabah Salute – Bus Journey!
Read more… Sabah Salute – Endangered Primate
Read more… Sabah Salute – City of Sandakan
Read more… Sabah Salute – Blazing Saddles!
Read more… Sabah Salute – A Gentle Trek
Read more… Sahab Salute – In the News
Read more… Sabah Salute – The Final March
 

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Sabah Salute – The Final March

final march
We woke this morning with mixed emotions.
Firstly proud of what we had achieved but also saddened in the fact that this was the end of the marching phase.
During the real Death Marches the strongest prisoners were forced to march back 15 miles and collect bags of rice weighing 20 kilograms. The reason was to weaken or kill the strongest. We, as a group, decided to voluntarily honour this act and carry our own sacks of rice during the final march.
We woke to a breakfast of cereal and noodles (served separately) and after many photographs we had an early departure of 7.00am. The distance was covered fairly quickly due to it being 8km in total.
John Moffat, our resident piper, played his bagpipes along the last four hundred meters into the memorial of the Final Camp called Jungle Camp 2. This was the last campsite that the POWs were held at. This helped every person raise two inches in height as we marched through the gates. After many shaking of hands and photographs we were given the story of the history of the location by the current land owner whose father had been a local tribal chief during the Japanese invasion.
There is much to be proud of. This commemorative march has been very rewarding for the team but more importantly the families of the fallen.
Neil Cogram
 

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Sabah Salute – The Journey Begins

The 14 strong expedition team
Team departure 0500 hrs, next stop Brunei via Singapore.
The 14 strong expedition team comprises of officers and soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Artillery, both Regular and Territorial Army, male and female. Rohan have kindly provided support to our expedition with Expedition shirts,trouserspants and Drylocker bags which we will be using throughout. We start with acclimatisation with some of the best jungle training the British Army has to offer in Brunei (river crossings, survival skills etc) before heading into Sabah. In addition to the trek we have raised money to sponsor an orang-utan for the next five years and will be doing so at the reserve at Sepilok.
If we all do our bit, maybe we can help such a beautiful unique ecosystem survive the inevitable environmental demands placed upon it.
Follow our adventures on Rohantime.com. We will be updating Rohantime on a regular basis.
Claire Curry, Royal Artillery Expedition Leader.
 
Read more… Sabah Salute – Lest We Forget