May Members Meeting

FRIDAY MAY 5 at 7.30pm
Burnside City Uniting Church, 384 Portrush Rd Tusmore
Paul Rosenzweig, IN OUR NEIGHBOURS’ SOIL OUR ANZACS SLEEP: Honouring Australia’s dead buried in Singapore and Malaysia

The history of the two post-WW2 Malayan wars – the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation with Malaysia – is not well known. One key point that distinguishes these campaigns from the Vietnam War and consequent conflicts is the reliance on the imperial wartime policy of removing the fallen to the nearest Commonwealth country for burial. As a result, today 50 Australians remain at rest overseas (in Malaysia, 37 and Singapore, 13), and none have graves in a war cemetery. The repatriation that was offered to the families of the fallen from the Vietnam War has not similarly been extended to these Australians.

The SA & NT Branch of the National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association Australia Inc (NMBVAA) has gone to great lengths to correctly record the details of the 71 Australians fallen from the era of these wars, including two South Australians, and to correctly identify them on a plaque in the Heroes Memorial Park in Kuching, Sarawak (installed in 2016, amended in 2019) and other memorials.

Paul Rosenzweig OAM FMHSA, a volunteer author/historian and currently President of SA&NT Branch, NMBVAA, is a retired Army officer with 32 years’ service, retiring in 2011 with the rank of Major (Royal Australian Infantry Corps). He has actively promoted commemoration and reverent reflection through his Facebook site ‘Thanks Digger’.