Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore when hundreds of lives were lost and more than 15,000 Australian soldiers were taken prisoner.
Australians will pause to reflect the sacrifices made by countless men and women, marked by a national service at the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in Ballarat.
A new memorial is also being unveiled today, the Garden of the Grieving Mother, dedicated to the families of servicemen and women who have lost their lives in war.
The Malayan Campaign ended with the Fall of Singapore in 1942, when allied forces on Singapore laid down their arms.
1,800 Australians lost their lives or were listed as missing in action during the fighting, more than 1,300 were wounded and 15,000 were taken as prisoners of war.
Those who surrendered were held captive in Changi, and as the war continued, locations across Asia including Japan.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said today is a day to honour the memory of those who served.
“Today we remember and commemorate the courage and sacrifice of Australians during the Second World War, and we take this opportunity, on the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, to reflect on that time in our history and to thank out veterans for their service,” he said.
Image Source – Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, led by a Japanese officer, walks under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces in Singapore, on 15 February 1942.