In a small wooden bungalow close to the sea shore under the shelter of coconut palms, the Japanese General surrendered his sword and signed the Surrender documents.
The house was a prefabricated building sent out from Australia, for the use of the Australian Army. Near the Surrender Bungalow is another small house where the Japanese Colonel Suga committed hara-kiri with an Australian table knife rather than face trial for the torture of thousands of prisoners at Kuching.
Memorial Stone To Mark First War Trials In Southeast Asia
200 yards away from the where the House of Hara-kiri stands, the first War trials in South East Asia took place. Labuan was the first British Territory to be recovered, ahead of Malaya in the tide of reconquest.
A couple of tents erected above high tide served as the courtroom. Officers and men of the Japanese army were tried for the murder of Allied prisoners of war or those who disagreed with the surrender. This area where these trials were conducted has been earmarked for a Memorial Stone.
The Japanese Hide-out Tunnel
This tunnel is located near the airfield at Pulau Buah. It is about 15 metres long, a metre wide and 1.5 metres high. The entrance was narrow and allowed only one person to enter at a time. The Japanese would hide in the tunnel during the day and emerged at night to attack Allied posts. This area has been earmarked for preservation and restoration.
When the attack to flush out the Japanese began, most of the buildings in Labuan town were destroyed except the clock tower, the lighthouse and old hospital building. The landing of the Allied troops was supported by firepower from a flotilla and the Japanese retreated to an area of tunnels.
The area which was known as the 'Pocket' is located at Batu Arang. It was Japanese last stronghold. There were many ridges and spurs, as well as underground tunnels.
Scores of bombs were dropped in the area and fighting raged on for three days at the 'Battle of the Pocket'. When the 'Pocket' was seized, hand grenades were hurled into the tunnels, fiece flames rose from them. About 400 Japanese soldiers were killed and the Allies suffered 34 dead and 93 injured. The 'Pocket' can still be seen today as a swampy area of ridges and hillocks. This area has been earmarked for preservation and restoration.
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