After the fall of Singapore in 1942, the conquering Japanese Army transferred some 2500 British and Australian prisoners to a jungle camp at Sandakan, on the east coast of North Borneo. There they were beaten, broken, worked to death, thrown into bamboo cages on the slightest pretext and subjected to tortures so ingenious and hideous that the victims were driven to the brink of madness.
But it was only to be the beginning of the nightmare. In late 1944 when Allied aircraft began bombing the coastal towns of Sandakan and Jesselton, the Japanese resolved to abandon the prison camp and move the prisoners 250 miles inland to Ranau. The journey there became known as the Sandakan Death marches. Of the thousand plus prisoners who set out on the epic marches, only six survived. This is both their story and the story of the fallen.